Sagittal craniosynostosis may present with complete or partial fusion of the sagittal suture, but relationships between degree of sagittal suture fusion and head shape are currently poorly described. The aim of this study was to characterize sagittal suture fusion patterns and determine associations with head shape in a cohort of patients with nonsyndromic sagittal craniosynostosis.
Patients with nonsyndromic sagittal craniosynostosis at a tertiary care center with available computed tomography imaging were included in this study. The anterior and posterior distances of sagittal suture patency were measured along 3-dimensional parietal bones. Degree of sagittal suture fusion was compared to head shape characteristics, including cephalic index (CI), frontal bossing, and occipital bulleting.
Ninety patients (69 male) were included in this retrospective study. The sagittal suture was on average 85.6±20.1% fused, and 45 (50.0%) patients demonstrated complete fusion of the sagittal suture. CI was associated with increased degree of fusion for the anterior one-half (ρ=0.26, P=0.033) and anterior one-third (ρ=0.30, P=0.012) of the sagittal suture. Complete fusion of the anterior one-third of the sagittal suture predicted higher CI (β=13.86, SE=6.99, z=−0.25, P=0.047). Total degree of sagittal suture fusion was not predictive of CI or head shape in any analysis.
Decreased fusion of the anterior one-third of the sagittal suture, but not total suture, may paradoxically predict increased severity of scaphocephaly as quantified by CI in nonsyndromic sagittal craniosynostosis.