Squamosal Suture Synostosis: Incidence, Associations, and Implications for Treatment

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Abstract

Squamosal suture craniosynostosis is thought to be a relatively rare entity. In the authors’ experience, it is underreported in imaging examinations and the existing literature. The authors sought to determine the incidence of squamosal synostosis, whether it is increasing in frequency, and its relationship with synostosis of the major calvarial sutures.

Patients undergoing computed tomography imaging for suspected craniosynostosis over a 15-year period were reviewed by a plastic surgeon and pediatric neuroradiologist. Patients with synostosis of the squamosal sutures were identified and involvement of additional sutures, gender, and the presence of a known syndromic diagnosis were recorded. Patients greater than 4 years of age or those with prior craniofacial surgery were excluded.

One hundred twenty-five patients met inclusion criteria, 26 of whom had squamosal suture synostosis (26/125, 20.8%). Squamosal synostosis was found in isolation in 3 patients (3/26, 11.5%), with 1 additional major suture in 10 patients (10/26, 38.5%), and ≥2 major sutures in 13 patients (13/26, 50%). Squamosal synostosis was more common in patients with a syndromic diagnosis (11/26 syndromic, 15/99 nonsyndromic, P < 0.001). Eleven of 26 patients with squamosal synostosis were identified in the radiology report (42.3%).

Craniosynostosis of the squamosal suture is much more common than previously reported and can contribute to abnormal head shape in isolation, or in combination with major sutures. Squamosal suture synostosis is underdiagnosed clinically and radiologically, although insufficient evidence exists to determine if its true incidence is increasing.

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