American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons Outcome Study: Preoperative and Postoperative Neurodevelopmental Findings in Single-Suture Craniosynostosis

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The purpose of this study was to prospectively determine the neurodevelopmental effects associated with single-suture, nonsyndromic craniosynostosis before and after surgery. Children diagnosed with single-suture craniosynostosis were evaluated by a psychologist using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development–Second Edition (BSID-II) within 2 months before and again 1 year after surgical correction. The BSID-II is a widely used measure of infant cognitive and motor development. The scale consists of three parts, the Mental Developmental Index (MDI), the Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI), and the Behavior Rating Scale. The MDI and PDI yield age-standard scores (mean, 100; SD, 16). The children ranged in age from 2.5 to 10 months at the time of the craniofacial reconstruction (average age, 5.9 months). Metopic synostosis was diagnosed in 23 percent, sagittal synostosis in 45 percent, and unilateral coronal synostosis in 32 percent of patients. Twenty-two patients were evaluated preoperatively, of whom 15 patients were evaluated postoperatively. Mean baseline BSID-II scores revealed a mild delay in mental and motor scores (MDI, 82.3; PDI, 79.5). Mean postoperative BSID-II scores still revealed a mild delay in mental scores but significantly improved motor scores (MDI, 79.3; PDI, 89.3). Of the 15 children, four (27 percent) had BSID-II evaluations that were in the average range for all scales and nine infants (60 percent) had at least one MDI or PDI score in the significantly delayed range (<70). Among children with single-suture nonsyndromic craniosynostosis, mean Bayley scores indicated mild baseline deficits in both mental and motor scores. After surgical treatment, improvement was seen in the motor scale. It appears from this sample that neurodevelopmental abnormalities may be present in children with single-suture synostosis, and some may persist at 1 year of follow-up.

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