Child's Nervous System

, Volume 21, Issue 11, pp 986–990 | Cite as

Head circumference and chronic positive pressure ventilation in children: a pilot study

  • Virginia S. Kharasch
  • Ning Tat Hamilton Hui
  • Helene M. Dumas
  • Stephen M. Haley
  • Linda Specht
  • Andrew A. Colin
Original Paper



We reviewed the cases of 11 children <12 years of age with complex medical conditions and respiratory failure requiring chronic positive pressure ventilation (CPPV). We conducted a within-group comparison of average head circumference (HC) percentiles with each child’s age-expected 50th percentile value and a between-groups comparison with children with no history of ventilation. We examined the relationship between HC, peak levels of positive inspiratory pressure (PIP), and length of time on CPPV.


We found that children on CPPV had an average HC value at the 71st percentile, significantly greater (p=0.009) than the age-expected 50th percentile; that children on CPPV had a greater (p=0.003) average HC percentile compared with children with complex medical conditions not on CPPV; and that peak levels of PIP had a moderately strong correlation to HC (r=0.689, p=0.019).


We conclude that children on CPPV have larger than expected HC and HC appears related to the peak level of PIP. Research to further investigate the relationship between HC and CPPV in children appears to be warranted.


Children Mechanical ventilation Positive pressure Cranium Macrocephaly 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virginia S. Kharasch
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ning Tat Hamilton Hui
    • 3
  • Helene M. Dumas
    • 4
  • Stephen M. Haley
    • 4
    • 5
  • Linda Specht
    • 6
  • Andrew A. Colin
    • 2
  1. 1.Pediatric Pulmonary RehabilitationFranciscan Hospital for ChildrenBostonUSA
  2. 2.Division of Respiratory Disease, Children’s Hospital BostonHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.United Christian HospitalKowloonHong Kong
  4. 4.Research Center for Children with Special Health Care NeedsFranciscan Hospital for ChildrenBostonUSA
  5. 5.Health and Disability Research InstituteBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  6. 6.Medical and Rehabilitative ServicesFranciscan Hospital for ChildrenBostonUSA

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