Growth of the cranial base in craniosynostosis

J. T. Richtsmeier, H. M. Grausz, G. R. Morris, J. L. Marsh, M. W. Vannier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The configuration of the neurocranium has long been used as a diagnostic tool in assessing infants with abnormal head shape. In the case of craniosynostosis, a characteristic shape is caused by a constraint placed on growth of the neurocranium by prematurely closed sutures and secondary accomodation to that constraint. This investigation is a preliminary test of our hypotheses of growth of the cranial base under these constraints. Three dimensional landmark coordinate data were collected from pre-, peri-, and postoperative CT scans of eleven patients from The Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Deformities Institute, ST. Louis, MO. These data were used in two sets of analytical comparisons. Comparisons of preoperative and perioperative morphology were taken to represent preoperative growth, while comparisons of perioperative to postoperative CT scans represent postoperative growth. Finite-element scaling analysis (FESA) and Euclidean distance matrix analysis (EDMA) were used to make these comparisons. Our results show that in cases involving premature closure of the metopic, sagittal, and bilateral coronal sutures, predictions about growth of the cranial base made prior to analysis prove correct. In these forms of craniosynostosis there are characteristic and consistent changes in the cranial base in both pre- and postoperative growth. Preoperative and postoperative growth in patients diagnosed with unicoronal synostosis show a greater degree of individual variability and do not follow a predictable pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-67
Number of pages13
JournalCleft Palate Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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