The utility and post-operative evolution of head circumference in nonsyndromic single-suture craniosynostosis: a prospective study in Vietnamese children

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Head circumference (HC) is an important clinical tool for following head growth in children with craniosynostosis (CS). The purpose of this study is to quantify the usefulness of HC along continuum of CS care, from diagnosis to pre- and post-operative (pre-op, post-op) follow-up in Vietnamese children. Methods: A prospective cohort of 54 nonsyndromic single-suture CS patients undergoing open surgery from January 2015 to January 2020 was collected at Children’s Hospital 2, Vietnam. HC z-score on admission was compared with World Health Organization (WHO) standards to evaluate for utility in initial diagnosis. Pre-op and post-op HC were compared to demonstrate the evolution of head growth following reconstruction. Results: Nonsyndromic single-suture CS was more predominant in males (79.6%) than in females (20.4%). The mean HC z-score was − 0.38 ± 1.29 similar to normal WHO standards regardless of which sutural involvement. The HC z-score increased above + 1 standard deviation (SD) significantly at 3 months of follow-up (p < 0.001); however, the trajectory gradually decreased after the first year of surgery. One patient (1.8%, 1/54) demonstrated restenosis and delayed intracranial hypertension (DIH) 4 years after reconstruction. Conclusions: The HC in nonsyndromic single-suture CS children presents similarly to the values of healthy children. Additionally, HC reliably increased after reconstruction and gradually normalized over subsequent years. This indicator is consistent in Southeast Asian populations and should be used to follow all patients to assess the normal progression of post-op head growth and as a useful indicator of suspected recurrent synostosis.
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  • Can DDT; Lepard JR; Thach PN; Tuan PA; Johnston JM; Grant JH