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Intracranial Volumes in a Large Series of Healthy Children

Kamdar, Mehul R., M.D.; Gomez, R Alex, B.A.; Ascherman, Jeffrey A., M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: December 2009 - Volume 124 - Issue 6 - p 2072-2075
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181bcefc4

Background: Craniosynostosis alters the normal growth of the infant skull and can influence intracranial pressure and intracranial volume. The purpose of this study was to measure intracranial volumes in a large series of healthy children to serve as a reference for further studies exploring the impact of craniosynostosis and vault remodeling on intracranial growth.

Methods: A total of 123 children were included in this study from a retrospective review of pediatric emergency room visits for evaluation of head trauma where a head computed tomography scan was performed. Intracranial volumes were obtained using a semiautomated image segmentation technique and volume-rendering software.

Results: Volume measurements were obtained and plotted against age, and a best fit curve approximation was derived. In this study of healthy children, intracranial volume doubled by 9 months of age and tripled by 6 years of age.

Conclusions: This large study contributes to the existing data demonstrating intracranial volumes in healthy children up to 6 years of age. These data can be used by clinicians as a reference in the assessment of a child presenting with cranial dysmorphology.

New York, N.Y.

From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Weill Cornell Medical College.

Received for publication February 2, 2009; accepted June 22, 2009.

Presented at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, in Scottsdale, Arizona, April 20 through 25, 2009.

Disclosure:None of the authors has a financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Jeffrey A. Ascherman, M.D., Columbia University Medical Center, 161 Fort Washington Avenue, Suite 607, New York, N.Y. 10032-3784,

©2009American Society of Plastic Surgeons