Craniosynostosis, a malformation caused by premature closure of one or more cranial sutures, is a rare congenital disability usually of unknown cause; however, it is often associated with assisted reproductive technology. Given the increasing prevalence of craniosynostosis and the use of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) method, the authors evaluated the association between IVF and the prevalence of craniosynostosis.
This retrospective study reviewed records of patients with nonsyndromic craniosynostosis who underwent surgery in Mofid Hospital, a tertiary children's hospital affiliated to Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, between 2010 and 2019.
A total of 200 patients aged one month to 7 years old, were evaluated. Out of 200 patients, 43% were plagiocephalic, 39% trigonocephalic, 8.5% scaphocephalic, 8% brachiocephalic, and 1.5% were mixed. Nine (4.5%) patients had received clomiphene citrate. Eight (4%) mothers had become pregnant under IVF, and they all had used clomiphene citrate for ovulation stimulation. No use of artificial insemination was reported. Of the eight patients whose mother had become pregnant through IVF, three were trigonocephalic, and five were plagiocephalic.
Without a control group, we are not able report the statistical results confirming or denying a link between craniosynostosis and infertility treatment. However, 4% prevalence of IVF use among craniosynostosis patients is significant. Further studies with a broader statistical community are suggested in this regard.