Cranial vault remodeling for sagittal craniosynostosis in older children

Neurosurg Focus 31 (2):E3, 2011,DOI: 10.3171/2011.5.FOCUS1196

Sagittal craniosynostosis is the most common form of craniosynostosis and is commonly treated within the first year of life. Optimal treatment of patients older than 1 year of age is not well characterized. The authors reviewed cases of sagittal craniosynostosis involving patients who were treated surgically at their institution when they were older than 1 year in order to determine the rate of intracranial hypertension (ICH), potential to develop nonhealing cranial defects, and the need for various surgical procedures to treat the more mature phenotype.

Methods. A retrospective chart review was conducted of all cases in the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Neurosurgery Database involving patients who underwent cranial vault remodeling for scaphocephaly after 1 year of age between October 2000 and December 2010.

Results. Ten patients were identified who met the inclusion criteria. Five patients underwent anterior two-thirds cranial vault remodeling procedures, 3 patients underwent posterior vault remodeling, and 2 patients underwent 2-staged total vault remodeling. All patients had improved head shapes, and mean cephalic indices improved from 65.4 to 69.1 (p = 0.05). Six patients exhibited signs of ICH. No patients with more than 3 months of follow-up exhibited palpable calvarial defects.

Conclusions. Patients with sagittal synostosis treated after 1 year of age demonstrate increased rates of ICH, warranting diligent evaluations and surveillance to detect it; rarely develop clinically significant cranial defects if appropriate bone grafting is performed at the time of surgery; and achieve acceptable improvements in head shape.