, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 913-921
Date: 03 May 2005

Intracranial pressure monitoring in children with single suture and complex craniosynostosis: a review

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Abstract

Introduction

One third of patients with craniofacial dysostosis syndromes and about 15–20% of children with single suture craniostenosis have a documented increase in intracranial pressure (ICP). The early detection of intracranial hypertension is important in order to reduce the risks for brain development and visual function. However, in children with craniosynostosis, the clinical manifestations of abnormally increased ICP are difficult to detect, as the majority of patients may have neither warning signs nor symptoms for a long period of time.

Review

Moreover, data from the literature suggest that neither fundoscopic nor radiological findings are necessarily related to intracranial pressure recordings in this type of pathology. In this context prolonged ICP monitoring seems actually to be the most valuable diagnostic tool. Extradural, subdural, and intraparenchymal devices have been used, and different softwares have been employed for PC storage and analysis of the data obtained. Most recent series consider mean ICP combined with plateaux waves as the most sensitive indicators in the final evaluation of the results.

Conclusions

The analysis of the literature demonstrates a significant difference in the prevalence of raised ICP preoperatively between non-syndromic and syndromic patients. Among the non-syndromic children, a direct relation between the number of sutures involved and raised ICP is documented. The analysis of plateaux waves seems to be particularly important in children with borderline mean ICP values. Persistent postoperative raised ICP has been described in 6–15% of patients with craniofacial dysostosis. It must be related to the multifactorial etiology of increased ICP in these patients, which includes cerebral venous congestion, upper airway obstruction, and hydrocephalus.