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The Risk of Psychopathology in Children with Craniosynostosis

van der Vlugt, Joris J. B., M.D.; van der Meulen, Jacques J. N. M., M.D.; Creemers, Hanneke E., M.Sc.; Willemse, Sten P., M.Sc.; Lequin, Maarten L., Ph.D.; Okkerse, Jolanda M. E., Ph.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: December 2009 - Volume 124 - Issue 6 - p 2054-2060
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181bcf2dc
PEDIATRIC/CRANIOFACIAL: ORIGINAL ARTICLES
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Background: The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of behavioral and emotional problems in patients with craniosynostosis and to determine the prospective association of a beaten-copper pattern before 18 months of age with behavioral and emotional problems in patients with craniosynostosis.

Methods: The authors performed a follow-up study of 115 craniosynostosis patients at the Erasmus Children’s University Hospital in Rotterdam. Behavioral and emotional problems were assessed with the Child Behavior Checklist at a mean age of 8 years. The presence of beaten-copper pattern before the age of 18 months was assessed on presurgical radiographs. Analyses were adjusted for intelligence quotient.

Results: Whereas craniosynostosis patients with intelligence quotients of 85 or greater did not differ from children in the normal group, craniosynostosis patients with intelligence quotients less than 85 had a higher risk of behavioral and emotional problems. However, these results were comparable to the findings of other studies assessing psychopathology in children with lower intelligence levels. Type of craniosynostosis (single suture versus complex) and a beaten-copper pattern before the age of 18 months did not affect the risk for behavioral and emotional problems in children with craniosynostosis.

Conclusion: When intelligence is taken into account, craniosynostosis is not associated with an increased risk of behavioral and emotional problems, nor is type of craniosynostosis or a beaten-copper pattern before the age of 18 months.

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

From the Departments of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Radiology and the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences, Erasmus Medical Center.

Received for publication January 9, 2009; accepted June 15, 2009.

Disclosure:The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Joris J. B. van der Vlugt, M.D., Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Erasmus Medical Center, Sophia Children’s Hospital, P.O. Box 2060, 3000 CB Rotterdam, The Netherlands, jorisvdvlugt@gmail.com

©2009American Society of Plastic Surgeons