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Zackary D. Brown, Amita K. Bey, Christopher M. Bonfield, Ashly C. Westrick, Katherine Kelly, Kevin Kelly and John C. Wellons III

OBJECTIVE

Disparities in surgical access and timing to care result from a combination of complex patient, social, and institutional factors. Due to the perception of delayed presentation for overall health care services and treatment in African American patients on the part of the senior author, this study was designed to identify and quantify these differences in access and care between African American and Caucasian children with craniosynostosis. In addition, hypotheses regarding reasons for this difference are discussed.

METHODS

A retrospective study was conducted of 132 children between the ages of 0 and 17 years old who previously underwent operations for craniosynostosis at a tertiary pediatric care facility between 2010 and 2013. Patient and family characteristics, age at surgical consultation and time to surgery, and distance to primary care providers and the tertiary center were recorded and analyzed.

RESULTS

Of the 132 patients in this cohort, 88% were Caucasian and 12% were African American. The median patient age was 5 months (interquartile range [IQR] 2–8 months). African Americans had a significantly greater age at consult compared with Caucasians (median 341 days [IQR 192–584 days] vs median 137 days [IQR 62–235 days], respectively; p = 0.0012). However, after being evaluated in consultation, there was no significant difference in time to surgery between African American and Caucasian patients (median 56 days [IQR 36–98 days] vs median 64 days [IQR 43–87 days], respectively). Using regression analysis, race and type of synostoses were found to be significantly associated with a longer wait time for surgical consultation (p = 0.01 and p = 0.04, respectively, using cutoff points of ≤ 180 days vs > 180 days). Distance traveled to primary care physicians and to the tertiary care facility did not significantly differ between groups. Other factors such as parental education, insurance type, household income, and referring physician type also showed no significant difference between racial groups.

CONCLUSIONS

This study identified a correlation between race and age at consultation, but no association with time to surgery, distance, or family characteristics such as household income, parental education, insurance type, and referring physician type. This finding implies that delays in early health-seeking behaviors and subsequent referral to surgical specialists from primary care providers are the main reason for this delay among African American craniofacial patients. Future studies should focus on further detail in regards to these barriers, and educational efforts should be designed for the community and the health care personnel caring for them.

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Ranbir Ahluwalia, Jarrett Foster, Madeleine M. Sherburn, Georgina E. Sellyn, Katherine A. Kelly, Muhammad Owais Abdul Ghani, Alyssa L. Wiseman, Chevis N. Shannon and Christopher M. Bonfield

OBJECTIVE

The incidence of deformational brachycephaly has risen since the “Back to Sleep” movement in 1992 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Brachycephaly prevalence and understanding the dynamic nature of the pediatric skull have not been explored in relation to the cranial index (CI). The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of brachycephaly, via the CI, with respect to time.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of 1499 patients ≤ 19 years of age who presented for trauma evaluation with a negative CT scan for trauma (absence of bleed) in 2018. The CI was calculated using CT at the lateral-most point of the parietal bone (cephalic width), and the distance from the glabella to the opisthocranion (cephalic length). Brachycephaly was defined as a CI ≥ 90%.

RESULTS

The mean CI was 82.6, with an average patient age of 6.8 years. The prevalence of deformational brachycephaly steadily decreased from 27% to 4% from birth to > 2 years of life. The mean CI was statistically different between ages < 12 months, 12–24 months, and > 24 months (F[2,1496] = 124.058, p < 0.0005). A simple linear regression was calculated to predict the CI based on age; the CI was found to decrease by 0.038 each month. A significant regression equation was found (F[1,1497] = 296.846, p < 0.0005), with an R2 of 0.140.

CONCLUSIONS

The incidence of deformational brachycephaly is common in infants but decreases as the child progresses through early childhood. Clinicians can expect a significant decrease in mean CI at 12 and 24 months. Additionally, these regression models show that clinicians can expect continued improvement throughout childhood.

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Jarrett Foster, Ranbir Ahluwalia, Madeleine Sherburn, Katherine Kelly, Georgina E. Sellyn, Chelsea Kiely, Alyssa L. Wiseman, Stephen Gannon, Chevis N. Shannon and Christopher M. Bonfield

OBJECTIVE

No study has established a relationship between cranial deformations and demographic factors. While the connection between the Back to Sleep campaign and cranial deformation has been outlined, considerations toward cultural or anthropological differences should also be investigated.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of 1499 patients (age range 2 months to less than 19 years) who presented for possible trauma in 2018 and had a negative CT scan. The cranial vault asymmetry index (CVAI) and cranial index (CI) were used to evaluate potential cranial deformations. The cohort was evaluated for differences between sex, race, and ethnicity among 1) all patients and 2) patients within the clinical treatment window (2–24 months of age). Patients categorized as “other” and those for whom data were missing were excluded from analysis.

RESULTS

In the CVAI cohort with available data (n = 1499, although data were missing for each variable), 800 (56.7%) of 1411 patients were male, 1024 (79%) of 1304 patients were Caucasian, 253 (19.4%) of 1304 patients were African American, and 127 (10.3%) of 1236 patients were of Hispanic/Latin American descent. The mean CVAI values were significantly different between sex (p < 0.001) and race (p < 0.001). However, only race was associated with differences in positional posterior plagiocephaly (PPP) diagnosis (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in CVAI measurements for ethnicity (p = 0.968). Of the 520 patients in the treatment window cohort, 307 (59%) were male. Of the 421 patients with data for race, 334 were Caucasian and 80 were African American; 47 of the 483 patients with ethnicity data were of Hispanic/Latin American descent. There were no differences between mean CVAI values for sex (p = 0.404) or ethnicity (p = 0.600). There were significant differences between the mean CVAI values for Caucasian and African American patients (p < 0.001) and rate of PPP diagnosis (p = 0.02). In the CI cohort with available data (n = 1429, although data were missing for each variable), 849 (56.8%) of 1494 patients were male, 1007 (67.4%) of 1283 were Caucasian, 248 (16.6%) of 1283 were African American, and 138 patients with ethnicity data (n = 1320) of Hispanic/Latin American descent. Within the clinical treatment window cohort with available data, 373 (59.2%) of 630 patients were male, 403 were Caucasian (81.9%), 84 were African American (17.1%), and 55 (10.5%) of 528 patients were of Hispanic/Latin American descent. The mean CI values were not significantly different between sexes (p = 0.450) in either cohort. However, there were significant differences between CI measurements for Caucasian and African American patients (p < 0.001) as well as patients of Hispanic/Latin American descent (p < 0.001) in both cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found no significant associations between cranial deformations and sex. However, significant differences exist between Caucasian and African American patients as well as patients with Hispanic/Latin American heritage. These findings suggest cultural or anthropological influences on defining skull deformations. Further investigation into the factors contributing to these differences should be undertaken.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010