Computer Tomography Determined Intracranial Volume of Infants With Deformational Plagiocephaly: A Useful “Normal”?

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Over the last 10 years, children with deformational (nonsynostotic) plagiocephaly have undergone computed tomography scans using the same protocols as children with lambdoid craniosynostosis because of their similarly distorted head shapes. These children are believed to have normal intracranial volume. Given the recent questioning of what is the normal range of intracranial volume in human populations, the authors have undertaken a comparison of the intracranial volume of children with deformational plagiocephaly and Lichtenberg's normal population (Lichtenberg R. Radio-graphie du crane de 226 enfants normaux de la naissance a 8 ans: Impressions digitiformes, capacite, angles et indices [thesis]. Paris: University of Paris, 1960). The intracranial volume was determined for 20 females and 46 males with deformational plagiocepahly ranging in age from 2.5 to 20.7 months using computed tomography scan data. Although no significant differences were found for the females, the authors found that the intracranial volume of the males with deformational plagiocephaly were significantly larger than Lichtenberg's population. The authors conclude that this is because Lichtenberg's data do not adequately reflect the normal range of intracranial volume for males ranging in age from 2.5 to 20.7 months, rather than gender differences associated with deformational plagiocephaly. Further, until a more suitable normal becomes available, the deformational (nonsynostotic) plagiocephaly data could-be used as substitute normal reference material in the measured age range for assessment of the intracranial volumes of children with craniosynostosis.

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