Neurodevelopment of Infants with Single-Suture Craniosynostosis: Presurgery Comparisons with Case-Matched Controls


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Abstract

Background:The hypothesized association between single-suture craniosynostosis and neurodevelopment remains unclear, given the methodologic limitations of previous studies, most notably the absence of control groups.Methods:Standardized measures were used to assess the neurodevelopment of 125 matched case-control pairs shortly after cases were first diagnosed with isolated fusions of the sagittal, metopic, lambdoid, or right or left coronal sutures. Participants varied in age from 2 to 24 months.Results:Cases had significantly lower mean standardized scores than controls on measures of cognitive ability and motor functioning (p < 0.02). These differences were unaffected by the location of synostosis, age of diagnosis, infant sex, and maternal IQ. Measures of early language functions revealed no group differences.Conclusions:Before cranioplasty, single-suture craniosynostosis is associated with modest but reliable neurodevelopmental delays that cannot be attributed to maternal intelligence and family sociodemographic variables. Follow-up of this sample will determine the predictive significance of these delays. In the meantime, routine neurodevelopmental screening of infants with isolated craniosynostosis is recommended.

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