Fluctuating asymmetry and developmental instability in sagittal craniosynostosis

Valerie Burke Deleon, Joan T. Richtsmeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether premature sagittal craniosynostosis is associated with developmental instability in the skull by analyzing fluctuating asymmetry in skull shape. Design: Cranial shape was quantified by collecting coordinate data from landmarks located on three-dimensional reconstructions of preoperative computed tomography (CT) images of 22 children with sagittal craniosynostosis and 22 age-matched controls.A fluctuating asymmetry application of Euclidean distance matrix analysis (EDMA) was used to quantify and compare asymmetry in cranial shape using these landmark data. Results: In contrast to expectations, the sagittal craniosynostosis group did not show a statistically significant increase in the overall level of fluctuating asymmetry relative to the control group.However, we discerned statistically significant localized increases in fluctuating asymmetry in the sagittal craniosynostosis group at pterion and the anterior clinoid processes (α =.05). We also determined a significant correlation of fluctuating asymmetry values between the two groups (r =.71). Conclusions: We conclude that there is no evidence of a role for system-wide developmental instability in the etiology of nonsyndromic sagittal craniosynostosis. However, the localized evidence of asymmetry at the anterior clinoid processes in the sagittal synostosis group suggests an association with the tracts of dura mater that attach there.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-196
Number of pages10
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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