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Plast Reconstr Surg. 1999 May;103(6):1574-84.

Sagittal craniosynostosis outcome assessment for two methods and timings of intervention.

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Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City 73003, USA.


A retrospective quantitative analysis of 40 infants who underwent surgery for sagittal craniosynostosis was conducted to determine whether any difference in outcome, with respect to cranial index (cranial width/cranial length x 100), could be associated with either the age at surgery or the extent of the operation. Children < or = 13 months old at surgery and for whom there were archived computed tomography digital data preoperatively, perioperatively, and 1 year postoperatively were studied. For statistical analysis, the operation was classified as either extended strip craniectomy or subtotal calvarectomy, and the age at operation was either < or = 4 months or > 4 months. Twenty-eight patients underwent extended strip craniectomy at a mean age of 5.1 months. Their mean cranial index preoperatively was 67 versus 71 at 1 year postoperatively (p < 0.0001). Of extended strip craniectomy patients, 15 were operated on at age < or = 4 months (mean = 2.9 months) and 13 at age > 4 months (mean = 7.6 months). Mean cranial indices for age at operation groups did not achieve age-appropriate normal range values 1 year postoperatively for either group, and there was no significant difference between the mean percentages of improvement achieved (p = 0.143). Twelve patients underwent subtotal calvarectomy at a mean age of 5.2 months. Their mean cranial index preoperatively was 66 versus 74 at 1 year postoperatively (p < 0.0001). The mean cranial index in this group reached age-appropriate normal range values 1 year postoperatively. The percentage improvement in cranial index 1 year after subtotal calvarectomy was greater than after extended strip craniectomy (p = 0.003). Extended strip craniectomy for sagittal craniosynostosis does not achieve normal cranial width:length proportions, even when performed before 4 months of age. Subtotal calvarectomy for sagittal craniosynostosis does achieve normal cranial width:length proportions in the majority of the children, at least when performed within the first 13 months of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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