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Dmitri Shastin, Sharron Peacock, Velu Guruswamy, Melpo Kapetanstrataki, David T. Bonthron, Maggie Bellew, Vernon Long, Lachlan Carter, Ian Smith, John Goodden, John Russell, Mark Liddington and Paul Chumas

OBJECTIVE

Complications have been used extensively to facilitate evaluation of craniosynostosis practice. However, description of complications tends to be nonstandardized, making comparison difficult. The authors propose a new pragmatic classification of complications that relies on prospective data collection, is geared to capture significant morbidity as well as any “near misses” in a systematic fashion, and can be used as a quality improvement tool.

METHODS

Data on complications for all patients undergoing surgery for nonsyndromic craniosynostosis between 2010 and 2015 were collected from a prospective craniofacial audit database maintained at the authors' institution. Information on comorbidities, details of surgery, and follow-up was extracted from medical records, anesthetic and operation charts, and electronic databases. Complications were defined as any unexpected event that resulted or could have resulted in a temporary or permanent damage to the child.

RESULTS

A total of 108 operations for the treatment of nonsyndromic craniosynostosis were performed in 103 patients during the 5-year study period. Complications were divided into 6 types: 0) perioperative occurrences; 1) inpatient complications; 2) outpatient complications not requiring readmission; 3) complications requiring readmission; 4) unexpected long-term deficit; and 5) mortality. These types were further subdivided according to the length of stay and time after discharge. The overall complication rate was found to be 35.9%.

CONCLUSIONS

The proportion of children with some sort of complication using the proposed definition was much higher than commonly reported, predominantly due to the inclusion of problems often dismissed as minor. The authors believe that these complications should be included in determining complication rates, as they will cause distress to families and may point to potential areas for improving a surgical service.

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Ian A. Anderson, Anand Goomany, David T. Bonthron, Maggie Bellew, Mark I. Liddington, Ian M. Smith, John L. Russell, Lachlan M. Carter, Velupandian Guruswamy, John R. Goodden and Paul D. Chumas

Object

There are no published papers examining the role of ethnicity on suture involvement in nonsyndromic craniosynostosis. The authors sought to examine whether there is a significant difference in the epidemiological pattern of suture(s) affected between different ethnic groups attending a regional craniofacial clinic with a diagnosis of nonsyndromic craniosynostosis.

Methods

A 5-year retrospective case-notes analysis of all cases involving patients attending a regional craniofacial clinic was undertaken. Cases were coded for the patients' declared ethnicity, suture(s) affected by synostosis, and the decision whether to have surgical correction of synostosis. The chi-square test was used to determine whether there were any differences in site of suture affected between ethnic groups.

Results

A total of 312 cases were identified. Of these 312 cases, ethnicity data were available for 296 cases (95%). The patient population was dominated by 2 ethnic groups: white patients (222 cases) and Asian patients (56 cases). There were both more cases of complex synostosis and fewer cases of sagittal synostosis than expected in the Asian patient cohort (χ2 = 9.217, p = 0.027).

Conclusions

There is a statistically significant difference in the prevalence of the various sutures affected within the nonsyndromic craniosynostosis patient cohort when Asian patients are compared with white patients. The data from this study also suggest that nonsyndromic craniosynostosis is more prevalent in the Asian community than in the white community, although there may be inaccuracies in the estimates of the background population data. A larger-scale, multinational analysis is needed to further evaluate the relationship between ethnicity and nonsyndromic craniosynostosis.