What is the pathophysiology of secondary pediatric craniosynostosis?

Updated: Dec 04, 2018
  • Author: Raj D Sheth, MD; Chief Editor: George I Jallo, MD  more...
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More frequent than the primary type, secondary craniosynostosis can result from early fusion of sutures due to primary failure of brain growth. Since brain growth drives the bony plates apart at the sutures, a primary lack of brain growth allows premature fusion of all the sutures.

Skull deformities associated with single suture sy Skull deformities associated with single suture synostosis.
CT image demonstrating features of secondary crani CT image demonstrating features of secondary craniosynostosis with cerebral atrophy. Cerebral atrophy is not present in primary craniosynostosis.

Intracranial pressure is usually normal, and surgery is seldom needed. Typically, failure of brain growth results in microcephaly. Premature suture closure does not compromise brain growth and does not require surgery to open sutures.

Intrauterine space constraints may play a role in the premature fusion of sutures in the fetal skull. [2] This has been demonstrated in coronal craniosynostosis. Other secondary causes of craniosynostosis include systemic disorders that affect bone metabolism such as rickets and hypercalcemia (see Causes).

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