Cranial base changes following coronal suturectomy in craniosynostotic rabbits

David A. Putz, T. D. Smith, A. M. Burrows, G. M. Cooper, J. Dechant, H. W. Losken, M. I. Siegel, M. P. Mooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


It has been suggested that surgical release of synostosed sutures may ameliorate various cranial base abnormalities in craniosynostotic patients. The present study was designed to test this hypothesis in a rabbit model with familial coronal suture synostosis (CSS). Data were collected from 56 New Zealand White rabbits: 32 unaffected controls, 11 with unoperated CSS, and 13 with CSS released by suturectomy performed at 25 days of age. Serial radiographs were taken at 25, 42 and 84 days. Linear, angular and triangular shape cranial base measurements were compared using ANOVA and tensor biometric analysis. Results revealed that at 84 days, both groups of CSS rabbits had significantly (p < 0.05) different anterior and total cranial base lengths, flatter cranial base angles, and dysmorphic anterior cranial base shapes when compared with normals. Significant (p < 0.05) differences were noted only for palatal and cranial base angles and posterior cranial base shape between CSS rabbits with and without suturectomy. However, significant (p < 0.05) changes were noted between pre- and postoperative measurements in posterior and total cranial base lengths and anterior and posterior cranial base shapes in CSS rabbits with suturectomy. Results revealed that surgical release of synostosed coronal sutures through suturectomy did not normalize cranial base growth patterns in CSS rabbits. These findings may be explained by the relatively late age of surgical release or suturectomy site resynostosis with continued dysmorphic cranial base growth. Alternatively, cranial base abnormalities seen in CSS rabbits may be early primary malformations, not secondary deformations amenable to surgical modification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-103
Number of pages14
JournalOrthodontics and Craniofacial Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthodontics
  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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