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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1997 Feb 15;22(4):402-5.

The cervical spine in Crouzon syndrome.

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Department of Craniofacial Surgery, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, United Kingdom.



All cervical spine radiographs of 44 patients with Crouzon syndrome treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital during the past 10 years were studied.


To assess the incidence and pattern of cervical spine abnormalities of patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Crouzon syndrome, but particularly regarding progressive fusion.


Previous studies into the cervical spine anomalies in those with Crouzon syndrome have shown an increased incidence of congenital abnormalities compared with the normal population. There is some suggestion from previous studies that cervical spine fusions are progressive in nature.


All radiographs were reviewed by the craniofacial team, along with a single pediatric radiologist with experience in assessment of skeletal dysplasias.


Radiologic abnormalities included "butterfly" vertebrae and fusions of the bodies and the posterior elements. Evidence of fusion was present in eight of 44 (18%) of patients. C2-C3 and C5-C6 were almost equally affected. Block fusions involving multiple vertebrae were seen. Analysis of sequential studies in 16 patients showed evidence of progression in five.


These results reveal an incidence of fusions that is lower than reported previously. There is radiologic evidence from serial studies that the fusions are progressive, and because these patients are children, the fusion process may not be complete, which may account for the lower incidence of fusions than in previous studies. The pattern of fusions is different from that in earlier studies, which may be a result of the method of diagnosis because this population is less likely to include atypical forms of other syndromes (which have a higher incidence of cervical fusions, particularly at C2-C3). Regarding other congenital anomalies, it appears that butterfly vertebrae are especially prevalent in association with Crouzon syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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