Child's Nervous System

, Volume 35, Issue 9, pp 1459–1465 | Cite as

The growth of the neurocranium: literature review and implications in cranial repair

  • Paolo FrassanitoEmail author
  • Federico Bianchi
  • Giovanni Pennisi
  • Luca Massimi
  • Gianpiero Tamburrini
  • Massimo Caldarelli
Focus Session



Postnatal growth of neurocranium is prevalently completed in the first years of life, thus deeply affecting the clinical presentation and surgical management of pediatric neurosurgical conditions involving the skull. This paper aims to review the pertinent literature on the normal growth of neurocranium and critically discuss the surgical implications of this factor in cranial repair.


A search of the electronic database of Pubmed was performed, using the key word “neurocranium growth”, thus obtaining 217 results. Forty-six papers dealing with this topic in humans, limited to the English language, were selected. After excluding a few papers dealing with viscerocranium growth or pathological conditions not related to normal neurocranium growth 18 papers were finally included into the present review.

Results and conclusions

The skull growth is very rapid in the first 2 years of life and approximates the adult volume by 7 years of age, with minimal further growth later on, which is warranted by the remodeling of the cranial bones. This factor affects the outcome of cranioplasty. Thus, it is essential to consider age in the planning phase of cranial repair, choice of the material, and critical comparison of results of different cranioplasty solutions.


Cranial growth Cranial repair Cranioplasty Neurocranium Precision medicine Skull growth 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no funding or conflict of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pediatric NeurosurgeryFondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCSRomeItaly
  2. 2.Pediatric NeurosurgeryFondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Università Cattolica del Sacro CuoreRomeItaly

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