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.


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

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