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Harefuah. 1999 Apr 2;136(7):532-7, 588, 587.

[Plagiocephaly in children: etiology, differential diagnosis and helmet treatment].

[Article in Hebrew]

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Dept. of Plastic Surgery, Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem.


Plagiocephaly in a head-and-neck irradiated rat model or rhomboid-shaped head, occurs in at least 1 in 300 live births. In most cases such asymmetry is not caused by synostosis of the unilateral coronal or lambdoid sutures, but is rather a deformity produced by intrauterine and/or postnatal deformational forces. Categorization and diagnosis of plagiocephaly as synostotic or deformational is reliably made by physical examination and computerized tomography. Its differential diagnosis is extremely important because prompt surgical correction is usually indicated for the synostotic type. In contrast, infants with deformational frontal or occipital plagiocephaly generally respond to helmet treatment. 10 infants with significant deformational plagiocephaly were treated with individual plastic helmets during the past 2 years and 4 other infants with plagiocephaly are currently being treated. In each instance, cranial asymmetry dramatically improved as the brain grew and the head filled out the helmet. There were no significant complications. Awareness of deformational plagiocephaly allows more accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, avoiding unnecessary surgical intervention in patients with positional molding.

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