John R. W. Kestle, Amy Lee, Richard C. E. Anderson, Barbu Gociman, Kamlesh B. Patel, Matthew D. Smyth, Craig Birgfeld, Ian F. Pollack, Jesse A. Goldstein, Mandeep Tamber, Thomas Imahiyerobo, Faizi A. Siddiqi and for the Synostosis Research Group
The authors created a collaborative network, the Synostosis Research Group (SynRG), to facilitate multicenter clinical research on craniosynostosis. To identify common and differing practice patterns within the network, they assessed the SynRG surgeons’ management preferences for sagittal synostosis. These results will be incorporated into planning cooperative studies.
The SynRG consists of 12 surgeons at 5 clinical sites. An email survey was distributed to SynRG surgeons in late 2016, and responses were collected through early 2017. Responses were collated and analyzed descriptively.
All of the surgeons—7 plastic/craniofacial surgeons and 5 neurosurgeons—completed the survey. They varied in both experience (1–24 years) and sagittal synostosis case volume in the preceding year (5–45 cases). Three sites routinely perform preoperative CT scans. The preferred surgical technique for children younger than 3 months is strip craniectomy (10/12 surgeons), whereas children older than 6 months are all treated with open cranial vault surgery. Pre-incision cefazolin, preoperative complete blood count panels, and an arterial line were used by most surgeons, but tranexamic acid was used routinely at 3 sites and never at the other 2 sites. Among surgeons performing endoscopic strip craniectomy surgery (SCS), most create a 5-cm-wide craniectomy, whereas 2 surgeons create a 2-cm strip. Four surgeons routinely send endoscopic SCS patients to the intensive care unit after surgery. Two of the 5 sites routinely obtain a CT scan within the 1st year after surgery.
The SynRG surgeons vary substantially in the use of imaging, the choice of surgical procedure and technique, and follow-up. A collaborative network will provide the opportunity to study different practice patterns, reduce variation, and contribute multicenter data on the management of children with craniosynostosis.
Kristina Aldridge, Brent R. Collett, Erin R. Wallace, Craig Birgfeld, Jordan R. Austin, Regina Yeh, Madison Feil, Kathleen A. Kapp-Simon, Elizabeth H. Aylward, Michael L. Cunningham and Matthew L. Speltz
Single-suture craniosynostosis (SSC), the premature fusion of a cranial suture, is characterized by dysmorphology of the craniofacial skeleton. Evidence to suggest that children with SSC are at an elevated risk of mild to moderate developmental delays and neurocognitive deficits is mounting, but the associations among premature suture fusion, neuroanatomy, and neurocognition are unexplained. The goals of this study were to determine 1) whether differences in the brain are present in young children with the 2 most common forms of SSC (sagittal and metopic) several years following surgical correction, and 2) whether the pattern of differences varies by affected suture (sagittal or metopic). Examination of differences in the brains of children with SSC several years after surgery may illuminate the growth trajectory of the brain after the potential constraint of the dysmorphic cranium has been relieved.
The authors compared quantitative measures of the brain acquired from MR images obtained from children with sagittal or metopic craniosynostosis (n = 36) at 7 years of age to those obtained from a group of unaffected controls (n = 27) at the same age. The authors measured the volumes of the whole brain, cerebral cortex, cerebral white matter, cerebral cortex by lobe, and ventricles. Additionally, they measured the midsagittal area of the corpus callosum and its segments and of the cerebellar vermis and its component lobules. Measurements obtained from children with SSC and controls were compared using linear regression models.
No volume measures of the cerebrum or of the whole brain differed significantly between patients with SSC and controls (p > 0.05). However, ventricle volume was significantly increased in patients with SSC (p = 0.001), particularly in those with sagittal craniosynostosis (p < 0.001). In contrast, the area of the corpus callosum was significantly reduced in patients with metopic synostosis (p = 0.04), particularly in the posterior segments (p = 0.004). Similarly, the area of lobules VI–VII of the cerebellar vermis was reduced in patients with SSC (p = 0.03), with those with metopic craniosynostosis showing the greatest reduction (p = 0.01).
The lack of differences in overall brain size or regional differences in the size of the lobes of the cerebrum in children with metopic and sagittal synostosis suggests that the elevated risk of neurodevelopmental deficits is not likely to be associated with differences in the cerebral cortex. Instead, this study showed localized differences between sagittal and metopic craniosynostosis cases as compared with controls in the ventricles and in the midsagittal structures of the corpus callosum and the cerebellum. It remains to be tested whether these structural differences are associated with the increased risk for developmental delay and neurocognitive deficits in children with SSC.