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J Neurosurg. 2007 Aug;107(2 Suppl):103-10. doi: 10.3171/PED-07/08/103.

Presurgical and postsurgical assessment of the neurodevelopment of infants with single-suture craniosynostosis: comparison with controls.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Children's Craniofacial Center, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle 98105, USA.



Although most infants with single-suture craniosynostosis (SSC) appear to have neurodevelopmental test scores in the average range, SSC has been associated with cognitive and motor delays during infancy. Whether and when surgery improves such deficits are not yet known. The authors aimed to compare the pre- and postsurgical neurodevelopmental status of patients with SSC with those of control infants without craniosynostosis.


The authors conducted a large, multicenter, longitudinal study of 168 infants with craniosynostosis and 115 controls without synostosis who were of similar age, race, sex, and socioeconomic status. The authors assessed participants by using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Second Edition (BSID-II) and the Preschool Language Scale, Third Edition (PLS-3) at enrollment, before patients' intracranial surgery, and when participants were 18 months of age (after surgery for patients).


After adjusting for potential confounding factors in linear regression analyses, the authors found a tendency for patients to perform similarly to or slightly worse than controls on neurodevelopmental examinations at both visits. After surgery, the patients' mean scores were 0.6 to three points lower than those of controls on the five BSID-II and PLS-3 scales (p = 0.02-0.07). Compared with controls, patients had 2.3 and 1.9 times the adjusted odds of scoring in the delayed range on either BSID-II scale (Mental Development Index and Psychomotor Development Index) for the first and second visits, respectively (p = 0.001 and p = 0.015, respectively). The patients' mean adjusted test scores were nearly unrelated to the timing of their surgery.


These findings support recommendations for neurodevelopmental screening in infants with SSC. Longer follow-up, as is being conducted with the patients in the present study, will be critical for identifying the potential longer-term correlates of SSC and its surgical correction.

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