A Treatment Algorithm for Patients Presenting with Sagittal Craniosynostosis after the Age of 1 Year

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Sagittal craniosynostosis typically presents shortly after birth, with a scaphocephalic head shape, and is addressed surgically for functional and aesthetic concerns. This study highlights the authors’ experience with a challenging patient population: those with phenotypically mild, missed, and late-developing sagittal craniosynostosis.


A prospective cohort study was conducted for all cases of sagittal craniosynostosis presenting to the authors’ institution between July of 2013 and December of 2015. Patients older than 1 year with isolated sagittal craniosynostosis were included. All children were evaluated by craniofacial surgery, neurosurgery, and ophthalmology departments. All patients had dilated fundus examinations and visual evoked potentials.


Fifty-two patients met inclusion criteria. Only nine patients have been treated surgically (17.3 percent). Two patients underwent operative correction for obvious scaphocephaly. Four patients who presented with concerning ophthalmologic evaluations and another patient with classic intracranial hypertension–related headaches underwent cranial vault expansion. Eight patients presented with inconclusive ophthalmologic evaluations. These patients were admitted for intracranial pressure monitoring, of which two were found to have elevated levels (25 percent) and underwent operative intervention. Thirty-seven other patients presented with isolated sagittal craniosynostosis in the setting of overall normocephaly without any signs concerning for intracranial hypertension. These patients continue to undergo serial evaluation.


The authors describe their treatment protocol for a large series of patients presenting with the delayed diagnosis of sagittal craniosynostosis. Based on the early experience of the authors’ center with this protocol, the risk of intracranial hypertension appears to be low in this population. The majority of patients to date have been managed nonsurgically without invasive monitoring.


Therapeutic, IV.

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