Quantitative analysis of cranial-orbital changes in infants with anterior synostotic plagiocephaly

Rosalinda Calandrelli, Fabio Pilato, Luca Massimi, Marco Panfili, Concezio Di Rocco, Cesare Colosimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The effects of premature fusion of one coronal suture cause skull and orbital alterations in term of side-to-side asymmetry. This study aimed to quantify the cranio-orbital complex changes related to the severity of skull base dysmorphology in patients with unicoronal synostosis. Methods: Twenty-four infants affected by unicoronal synostosis were subdivided in three subgroups according to the severity of skull base deformity and their high-resolution CT images were quantitatively analyzed (groups IIa, IIb, III). Dimensions of cranial fossae, intracranial volume (ICV), ICV synostotic and ICV non synostotic side, whole brain volume (WBV), orbital volumes (OV), ICV/WBV, ICVsynostotic/ICVnon-synostotic, and OVsynostotic/OVnon-synostotic were evaluated. Results: Asymmetry and reduction in the growth of the anterior and middle fossae were found in all groups while asymmetry of the posterior cranial fossa was found only in IIb and III groups. In all groups, ICV, WBV, and ICV/WBV were not significantly different while ICVsynostotic/ICVnon-synostotic and OVsynostotic/OVnon-synostotic resulted significant difference (p < 0.05). ICVsynostotic side resulted reduction only in group III. OV on the synostotic side was not significantly reduced although a trend in progressively reducing volumes was noted according to the severity of the group. Conclusion: Skull and orbital changes revealed a side-to-side asymmetry but the effects of the premature synostosis were more severe in group III suggesting an earlier timing of premature unicoronal synostosis in group III with respect to the other groups. The assessment of the skull base deformity might be an indirect parameter of severity of skull orbital changes and it might be useful for surgical planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1725-1733
Number of pages9
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Craniosynostosis
  • High-resolution CT
  • Intracranial volume
  • Orbital volume
  • Skull base

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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