Posterior Vault Distraction Osteogenesis in Nonsyndromic Patients: An Evaluation of Indications and Safety

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the indications, safety, and short-term outcomes of posterior vault distraction osteogenesis (PVDO) in patients with no identified acrocephalosyndactyly syndrome (study) and to compare those to a syndromic cohort (controls).


Demographic and perioperative data were recorded and compared across the study and control groups for those who underwent PVDO between January 2009 and December 2016. Univariate analysis was conducted using χ2 and Fisher exact tests for categorical variables, and Mann–Whitney U test for continuous variables.


Sixty-three subjects were included: 19 in the nonsyndromic cohort, 44 in the syndromic cohort. The cohorts had similar proportion of subjects exhibiting pansynostosis (42.1% of nonsyndromic versus 36.4% of syndromic, P = 0.667). The nonsyndromic cohort was significantly older (4.04 ± 3.66 years versus 2.55 ± 3.34 years, P = 0.046) and had higher rate of signs of raised intracranial pressure (68.4% versus 25.0%, P = 0.001) than the syndromic cohort. There was no significant difference in perioperative variables or rate of complications (P > 0.05). The mean total advancement distance achieved was similar, 27 ± 6 mm in the nonsyndromic versus 28 ± 8 mm in the syndromic cohort (P = 0.964). All nonsyndromic subjects with signs of raised intracranial pressure demonstrated improvement at an average follow-up of 22 months.


As in the syndromic patient, PVDO is a safe and, in the short-term, effective modality for cranial vault expansion in the nonsyndromic patient. The benefits and favorable perioperative profile of PVDO may therefore be extended to patient populations other than those with syndromic craniosynostosis.

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