Cranial vault growth in craniosynostosis

J B Delashaw, J A Persing, W C Broaddus, J A Jane
Journal of Neurosurgery 1989, 70 (2): 159-65
Skull growth after single suture closure was described in 1851 by Virchow, who noted that growth in the plane perpendicular to a fused suture was restricted. However, this observation failed to predict compensatory growth patterns that produce many of the deformities recognized as features of individual syndromes. The deformities resulting from premature closure of a coronal, sagittal, metopic, or lambdoid suture can be predicted on the basis of the following observations: 1) cranial vault bones that are prematurely fused secondary to single suture closure act as a single bone plate with decreased growth potential; 2) asymmetrical bone deposition occurs mainly at perimeter sutures, with increased bone deposition directed away from the bone plate; 3) sutures adjacent to the prematurely fused suture compensate in growth more than those sutures not contiguous with the closed suture; and 4) enhanced symmetrical bone deposition occurs along both sides of a non-perimeter suture that is a continuation of the prematurely closed suture. These observations regarding growth in craniosynostosis are illustrated with clinical material in this report.

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