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Dissecting the Influence of Regional Dura Mater on Cranial Suture Biology

Slater, Bethany J. M.D.; Kwan, Matthew D. M.D.; Gupta, Deepak M. M.D.; Amasha, Raimy R. B.A.; Wan, Derrick C. M.D.; Longaker, Michael T. M.D., M.B.A.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: July 2008 - Volume 122 - Issue 1 - p 77-84
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318177478c
Experimental: Original Articles

Background: Craniosynostosis is a relatively common developmental disorder that leads to a number of serious consequences. Previous studies have shown the influence of dura mater on the overlying cranial suture. This study was conducted to determine the role of regional dura mater versus the intrinsic nature of the suture in directing the overlying suture’s fate.

Methods: The authors examined the effect of regional dura mater on the fate and morphology of the posterofrontal and coronal sutures. In 8-day-old Sprague-Dawley rats, calvarial disks, consisting of the posterofrontal and coronal sutures, were excised and placed in one of three positions: (1) native position (control group), (2) rotated 45 degrees, or (3) rotated 90 degrees (n = 5 animals per group). The animals were euthanized 1 month postoperatively, and the sutures were analyzed histologically.

Results: The control group revealed normal suture morphology (n = 5). In the 45-degree rotation group, which placed the posterofrontal and coronal sutures over non–suture-associated dura mater, the posterofrontal sutures fused with thin morphology, and the coronal sutures remained patent (n = 5). In the 90-degree rotation group, the posterofrontal sutures, which were positioned over coronal suture–associated dura mater, were found to be fused with thinner morphology. The coronal sutures of the 90-degree rotation group, which were placed over posterofrontal suture–associated dura mater, remained patent but had acquired a posterofrontal-like morphology (n = 5).

Conclusions: This study further elucidates variations in the biology of dura mater, depending on its location. Furthermore, these results illustrate the interplay between regional dura mater and the inherent characteristics of the suture complex in determining suture biology.

Stanford, Calif.

From the Children’s Surgical Research Laboratory, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine.

Received for publication October 1, 2007; accepted January 14, 2008.

Disclosure: The authors have no commercial affiliations or conflicts of interests to disclose.

Michael T. Longaker, M.D., M.B.A.; Stanford University School of Medicine; 257 Campus Drive; Stanford, Calif. 94305-5148;

©2008American Society of Plastic Surgeons