The subarachnoid spaces in craniosynostosis

Neurosurgery. 1992 Jun;30(6):867-71. doi: 10.1227/00006123-199206000-00008.


A review of 85 patients with various forms of craniosynostosis showed predictable patterns of dilatation of the subarachnoid spaces in regions of compensatory skull growth. The characteristic pattern in sagittal synostosis (43 patients) included dilatation of the frontal and occipital subarachnoid spaces associated with the elongation of the anteroposterior dimension of the skull and widening of the interhemispheric fissure. In 11 patients with unilateral coronal synostosis, dilatations of the subarachnoid spaces over the contralateral frontal lobe, the sylvian regions, and the ipsilateral temporal lobe tip were consistent with the skull changes of contralateral frontal bossing, increased bitemporal dimension, and elevation of the sphenoid wing, respectively. Four patients with bilateral coronal synostosis also had enlarged subarachnoid spaces high over the convexities of the brain consistent with the towering configuration of the skull. Four patients with true lambdoid synostosis had dilatation of the subarachnoid space only over the ipsilateral frontal lobe associated with compensatory bossing of the frontal bone. Ten of 14 patients with lambdoid deformities had bilateral enlargement of the subarachnoid spaces suggesting brain atrophy and an underlying motor delay accounting for the position-induced skull changes. The findings suggest that focal hydrodynamic mechanisms are involved in the compensatory skull changes seen in craniosynostosis.

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnostic imaging
  • Craniosynostoses / diagnostic imaging*
  • Craniosynostoses / surgery
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intellectual Disability / diagnostic imaging
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Subarachnoid Space / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*