Minimally invasive approaches for the treatment of single-suture craniosynostosis are sometimes touted as equivalent to cranial vault reconstruction. While techniques for sagittal synostosis have been reviewed previously, evidence regarding open and less invasive surgical techniques for metopic, coronal, and lambdoid synostosis has yet to be reviewed.
Systematic searches were performed using Embase.com and PubMed. Included studies reported short- or long-term outcomes, compared at least 2 standard techniques, discussed single-suture coronal, metopic, or lambdoid craniosynostosis, and enrolled at least 20 study participants. Two authors screened titles and abstracts, and also performed full text review and data extraction. Given heterogeneous outcomes, qualitative synthesis was performed after data extraction.
The search strategy yielded 2348 articles. Of these, 313 were removed as duplicates, and 1935 were excluded during title/abstract review. After full text review of 100 articles, 19 were selected for data extraction. The heterogeneity of outcomes precluded meta-analysis and required qualitative synthesis. While short-term outcomes indicated decreased morbidity of minimally invasive techniques, only 2 articles presented long-term reoperation rates. One study reported higher reoperation rates in the less invasive technique, and the second reported no reoperations in the median follow-up period of 33 months.
Studies comparing long-term outcomes between different surgical techniques for single-suture craniosynostosis remain deficient. The development of standardized outcome measures is essential, and prospective, multicenter studies are necessary to assess the long-term efficacy of these procedures.