, Volume 12, Issue 11, pp 654-663

Metopic synostosis: in favour of a “simplified” surgical treatment

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Abstract

Metopic synostosis is a relatively simple form of craniosynostosis, resulting from premature fusion of the metopic suture. In this pathology different degrees of dysmorphia of the anterior cranial fossa and the presence of associated anomalies of the skull might enable specific subgroups to be identified. Since most functional and cosmetic anomalies benefit from early surgical treatment, over the last few years neurosurgeons have been forced to elaborate less drastic, but nonetheless effective, surgical techniques. In the present report we analyze the surgical results obtained in a series of 62 infants with trigonocephaly operated on within their 1st year of life. Patients were subdivided into two groups (group I: 8 patients; group II: 54 patients) according to the specific dysmorphic characteristics of the frontal bone and anterior cranial fossa, and the presence of compensatory deformities affecting the anterior cranial base and temporo-parietal region. All the patients were treated using one of two relatively simple surgical techniques (procedure A: inversion of two hemifrontal bone flaps-48 cases; procedure B: the “shell” operation-14 cases). Both surgical procedures appeared to be effective, allowing adequate functional and cosmetic correction of the cranial deformity. In patients operated on following procedure B surgical time and and blood loss were dramatically reduced. Long-term outcomes were satisfactory in all cases, irrespective of the surgical technique used. In the group II patients, however, progressive normalization of the interorbital distance was constantly observed, suggesting a different degree of stenotic involvement at the level of the anterior cranial base in these patients.

Presented at the Consensus Conference on Craniosynostoses, Rome, 4–6 May 1995