Skull Growth Patterns

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Skull Sutures
Abnormal skull growth patterns

When a suture fuses prematurely, compensatory growth occurs in order to try to maintain normal intracranial volume, pressure and therefore brain developement.

  • compensatory growth occurs in-line with the fused suture, since the suture normally allows growth and cranial expansion perpendicular to itself.


Contents


Types of Skull Growth Patterns

Abnormal skull growth may be described as follows:

  • Trigonocephaly - fusion of the metopic suture
    • Results in an abnormal 'V-shaped' narrow pointed forehead with a flat nasal bridge and short nose. The palate may be furrowed.
    • Some children may only have a ridge running down their forehead.
  • Brachycephaly - fusion of the coronal suture
    • The skull is disproportionately wide.
    • May be positional
    • You may hear this referred to as 'flat-head syndrome'.
  • Scaphocephaly or Dolichocephaly - fusion of the sagittal suture
    • The skull is abnormally elongated relative to the width of the head.
  • Plagiocephaly - unilateral premature closure of lambdoid and coronal sutures
    • 'Positional plagiocephaly' due to pre or post-natal pressure on the skull is commonest and usually posterior.
      • Where the diagnosis is uncertain, AP and lateral skull radiographs should be arranged.
    • May be associated with torticollis.
  • Oxycephaly or Turricephaly - fusion of coronal and lambdoidal sutures
    • May also be used to describe premature closure of all sutures
    • One of the most severe craniosynostoses
  • Kleeblattschaedel - premature closure of all sutures


See associated articles:


Examples

Scaphocephaly


Plagiocephaly


Brachycephaly


Trigonocephaly

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