Denise E. Hilling, Irene M. J. Mathijssen, Paul G. H. Mulder and J. Michiel Vaandrager
Long-term aesthetic results of craniofacial surgery for frontal plagiocephaly were evaluated by two observers who used a scoring system based on deformities typical for this type of craniosynostosis.
In this retrospective study, pre- and postoperative photographs of 59 patients were scored for items typical of frontal plagiocephaly: shape of the forehead, orbital dystopia, and temporal depression. Each item was quantified as normal or absent (0 points), a mild deformity (1 point) or a severe deformity (2 points).
Preoperatively, the most obvious deformity was the shape of the forehead, whereas postoperatively temporal retrusion was the main deformity. There was a good overall correction of the presenting deformities, with a decline in the mean score from 3.7 to 0.86. There was a statistically significant weak correlation between pre- and postoperative scores for orbital dystopia alone. This finding indicates that the severity of the initial disease is not a major contributor to the final result. Furthermore, the surgical outcome seemed to be stable over time and was not influenced by the timing of surgery if it took place when the children were between 6 and 15 months of age.
Early craniofacial correction for frontal plagiocephaly results in a stable, acceptable aesthetic outcome on which the initial deformity has little effect. The most common associated craniofacial characteristics are corrected well to very well when surgery is performed within the first 6 to 15 months of life. The main focus of the deformity in both the short and long term remains the temporal depression, and thus it requires extra attention during surgery.
Surya Sri Krishna Gour, Mohit Agrawal and Dattaraj Sawarkar
Marie-Lise C. van Veelen, Dalibor Mihajlović, Ruben Dammers, Hester Lingsma, Leon N. A. van Adrichem and Irene M. J. Mathijssen
Various techniques to correct sagittal synostosis have been described. The authors of this study assess the results of 2 techniques for late complete cranial remodeling and test the hypothesis that adding a widening bridge would improve outcome.
In this retrospective study, the authors evaluated patients with nonsyndromic sagittal synostosis—those who underwent frontobiparietal remodeling (FBR) and those who underwent modified FBR (MFBR) involving the introduction of a bony bridge to increase the width of the skull. Outcomes for both groups are described in terms of the aesthetic results assessed on photographs and any changes in the cranial index (CI) and head circumference over time, the presence of papilledema, and complaints of headache. The effect of the surgical technique on CI and head circumference over time was assessed using linear regression analysis, with adjustment for preoperative CI and head circumference.
Sixty-nine patients with isolated sagittal synostosis were included in this study: 35 underwent MFBR and 34 underwent the original technique of FBR. The mean follow-up period was 7 years. In the 1st year after surgery, mean CI improved by 9% in the FBR group and by 12% in the MFBR group. One year after surgery, CI in the MFBR group was on average 4.7% higher than that in the FBR group (p < 0.001). During follow-up, CI decreased in both groups; however, at all time points CI was significantly higher in the MFBR group than in the FBR group. The impact of surgical technique on CI was less important than the impact of preoperative CI (R2= 0.26 vs 0.54), and this applied at all time points during follow-up. Head circumference declined during follow-up in both groups. It was influenced by preoperative head circumference, but not by surgical technique. Aesthetic outcome, prevalence of headache (42%), and papilledema (7%) were comparable in both groups.
Adding a widening bridge to late complete remodeling significantly improved CI and helped to prevent CI from decreasing in the long term. This addition did not affect the head circumference growth curve. Despite a mean head circumference remaining at +1 SD, patients continued to develop papilledema postoperatively (7%).
Caroline Driessen, Natalja Bannink, Maarten Lequin, Marie-Lise C. van Veelen, Nicole C. Naus, Koen F. M. Joosten and Irene M. J. Mathijssen
Children with syndromic or complex craniosynostosis are evaluated for increased intracranial pressure (ICP) using funduscopy to detect papilledema. However, papilledema is a late sign of increased ICP. Because papilledema might be preceded by an increase in optic nerve sheath (ONS) diameter, the authors conducted a prospective study to establish the validity and applicability of measuring the ONS using ultrasonography.
From January 2007 to December 2009, 175 bilateral ultrasonography ONS measurements were performed in 128 patients with syndromic or complex craniosynostosis during the daytime. The measurements were correlated with ONS diameter assessed on CT and simultaneous funduscopy, when available. Furthermore, results were compared by using thresholds for ONS diameters on ultrasonography that are available in the literature.
The mean ONS diameter on ultrasonography was 3.1 ± 0.5 mm. The CT measurement was significantly correlated with the ultrasonography measurement (r = 0.41, p < 0.001). The mean ONS diameter in 38 eyes with papilledema was 3.3 ± 0.5 mm, compared with 3.1 ± 0.5 mm in the eyes of patients without papilledema (p = 0.039). Relative to the age-related thresholds, the ONS diameter was too large in 11 eyes (3%), particularly in patients with Crouzon syndrome. Compared with funduscopy, ultrasonography sensitivity was 11%, specificity was 97%, and positive and negative predictive values were 40% and 86%, respectively.
Ultrasonography is a valid and easy way of quantifying the ONS. Although the ONS diameter is larger in children with papilledema, it cannot be used as a daytime screening tool instead of funduscopy. The ONS diameter is possibly a more real-time indicator of ICP.
Stephanie D. C. van de Beeten, Martijn J. Cornelissen, Renee M. van Seeters, Marie-Lise C. van Veelen, Sarah L. Versnel, Sjoukje E. Loudon and Irene M. J. Mathijssen
Unicoronal synostosis results in frontal plagiocephaly and is preferably treated before the patient is 1 year of age to prevent intracranial hypertension (ICH). However, data on the prevalence of ICH in these patients is currently lacking. This study aimed to establish the prevalence of preoperative and postoperative signs of ICH in a large cohort of patients with unicoronal synostosis and to test whether there is a correlation between papilledema and occipitofrontal head circumference (OFC) curve stagnation in unicoronal synostosis.
The authors included all patients with unicoronal synostosis treated before 2 years of age at a single center between 2003 and 2013. The presence of ICH was evaluated by routine fundoscopy. The OFC growth curve was analyzed for deflection and in relationship to signs of ICH.
In total, 104 patients were included in this study, 84 (81%) of whom were considered to have nonsyndromic unicoronal synostosis. Preoperatively, none of the patients had papilledema as determined by fundoscopy (mean age at surgery 11 months). Postoperatively, 5% of patients with syndromic synostosis and 3% of those with nonsyndromic synostosis had papilledema, and this was confirmed by optical coherence tomography. Raised intracranial pressure was confirmed in 1 patient with syndromic unicoronal synostosis. Six of 78 patients had OFC stagnation, which was not significantly correlated to papilledema (p = 0.22). One child with syndromic unicoronal synostosis required repeated surgery for ICH (0.96%).
Papilledema was not found in patients with unicoronal synostosis when they underwent surgery before the age of 1 year and was also very rare during follow-up. There was no relationship between papilledema and OFC stagnation.
Martijn J. Cornelissen, Robbin de Goederen, Priya Doerga, Iris Cuperus, Marie-Lise van Veelen, Maarten Lequin, Paul Govaert, Irene M. J. Mathijssen, Jeroen Dudink and Robert C. Tasker
In addition to craniocerebral disproportion, other factors, such as Chiari malformation type I, obstructive sleep apnea, and venous outflow obstruction, are considered to have a role in the occurrence of intracranial hypertension in craniosynostosis. This pilot study examined cerebral venous flow velocity to better characterize the complex intracranial venous physiology of craniosynostosis.
The authors performed a prospective cohort study of craniosynostosis patients (n = 34) referred to a single national (tertiary) craniofacial unit. Controls (n = 28) consisted of children who were referred to the unit’s outpatient clinic and did not have craniosynostosis. Transfontanelle ultrasound scans with venous Doppler flow velocity assessment were performed at the first outpatient clinic visit and after each surgery, if applicable. Mean venous blood flow velocities of the internal cerebral vein (ICVv) and the superior sagittal sinus (SSSv) were recorded and blood flow waveform was scored.
Preoperatively, SSSv was decreased in craniosynostosis patients compared with controls (7.57 vs 11.31 cm/sec, p = 0.009). ICVv did not differ significantly between patients and controls. Postoperatively, SSSv increased significantly (7.99 vs 10.66 cm/sec, p = 0.023). Blood flow waveform analyses did not differ significantly between patients and controls.
Premature closure of cranial sutures was associated with decreased SSSv but not ICVv; indicating an effect on the superficial rather than deep venous drainage. Further Doppler ultrasound studies are needed to test the hypothesis that at an early stage of craniosynostosis pathology SSSv, but not pulsatility, is abnormal, and that abnormality in both SSSv and the superficial venous waveform reflect a more advanced stage of evolution in suture closure.
Priya N. Doerga, Maarten H. Lequin, Marjolein H. G. Dremmen, Bianca K. den Ottelander, Katya A. L. Mauff, Matthias W. Wagner, Juan A. Hernandez-Tamames, Sarah L. Versnel, Koen F. M. Joosten, Marie-Lise C. van Veelen, Robert C. Tasker and Irene M. J. Mathijssen
In comparison with the general population, children with syndromic craniosynostosis (sCS) have abnormal cerebral venous anatomy and are more likely to develop intracranial hypertension. To date, little is known about the postnatal development change in cerebral blood flow (CBF) in sCS. The aim of this study was to determine CBF in patients with sCS, and compare findings with control subjects.
A prospective cohort study of patients with sCS using MRI and arterial spin labeling (ASL) determined regional CBF patterns in comparison with a convenience sample of control subjects with identical MRI/ASL assessments in whom the imaging showed no cerebral/neurological pathology. Patients with SCS and control subjects were stratified into four age categories and compared using CBF measurements from four brain lobes, the cerebellum, supratentorial cortex, and white matter. In a subgroup of patients with sCS the authors also compared longitudinal pre- to postoperative CBF changes.
Seventy-six patients with sCS (35 female [46.1%] and 41 male [53.9%]), with a mean age of 4.5 years (range 0.2–19.2 years), were compared with 86 control subjects (38 female [44.2%] and 48 male [55.8%]), with a mean age of 6.4 years (range 0.1–17.8 years). Untreated sCS patients < 1 year old had lower CBF than control subjects. In older age categories, CBF normalized to values observed in controls. Graphical analyses of CBF by age showed that the normally expected peak in CBF during childhood, noted at 4 years of age in control subjects, occurred at 5–6 years of age in patients with sCS. Patients with longitudinal pre- to postoperative CBF measurements showed significant increases in CBF after surgery.
Untreated patients with sCS < 1 year old have lower CBF than control subjects. Following vault expansion, and with age, CBF in these patients normalizes to that of control subjects, but the usual physiological peak in CBF in childhood occurs later than expected.
Bianca K. den Ottelander, Robbin de Goederen, Marie-Lise C. van Veelen, Stephanie D. C. van de Beeten, Maarten H. Lequin, Marjolein H. G. Dremmen, Sjoukje E. Loudon, Marieke A. J. Telleman, Henriëtte H. W. de Gier, Eppo B. Wolvius, Stephen T. H. Tjoa, Sarah L. Versnel, Koen F. M. Joosten and Irene M. J. Mathijssen
The authors evaluated the long-term outcome of their treatment protocol for Muenke syndrome, which includes a single craniofacial procedure.
This was a prospective observational cohort study of Muenke syndrome patients who underwent surgery for craniosynostosis within the first year of life. Symptoms and determinants of intracranial hypertension were evaluated by longitudinal monitoring of the presence of papilledema (fundoscopy), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA; with polysomnography), cerebellar tonsillar herniation (MRI studies), ventricular size (MRI and CT studies), and skull growth (occipital frontal head circumference [OFC]). Other evaluated factors included hearing, speech, and ophthalmological outcomes.
The study included 38 patients; 36 patients underwent fronto-supraorbital advancement. The median age at last follow-up was 13.2 years (range 1.3–24.4 years). Three patients had papilledema, which was related to ophthalmological disorders in 2 patients. Three patients had mild OSA. Three patients had a Chiari I malformation, and tonsillar descent < 5 mm was present in 6 patients. Tonsillar position was unrelated to papilledema, ventricular size, or restricted skull growth. Ten patients had ventriculomegaly, and the OFC growth curve deflected in 3 patients. Twenty-two patients had hearing loss. Refraction anomalies were diagnosed in 14/15 patients measured at ≥ 8 years of age.
Patients with Muenke syndrome treated with a single fronto-supraorbital advancement in their first year of life rarely develop signs of intracranial hypertension, in accordance with the very low prevalence of its causative factors (OSA, hydrocephalus, and restricted skull growth). This illustrates that there is no need for a routine second craniofacial procedure. Patient follow-up should focus on visual assessment and speech and hearing outcomes.