Long-term treatment effectiveness of molding helmet therapy in the correction of posterior deformational plagiocephaly: a five-year follow-up

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2008 May;45(3):240-5. doi: 10.1597/06-210.1. Epub 2007 Jul 17.


Objective: To evaluate the long-term effectiveness of helmet therapy in the correction of deformational plagiocephaly and to assess the early occlusal abnormalities seen in these patients.

Design: A prospective study with blinded measurements.

Patients: Twenty-eight patients with deformational plagiocephaly who were treated with molding helmet therapy with at least 5 years of follow-up.

Interventions: The average length of molding helmet treatment was 6.2 months. At the time of this follow-up evaluation, the mean interval since completing the molding helmet therapy was 5.6 years.

Main outcome measures: Anthropometric measurements of cranial asymmetry included cranial vault asymmetry (CVA), orbitotragial depth asymmetry (OTDA), and cranial base asymmetry (CBA). A dental examination was also performed.

Results: At the completion of therapy, the most improvement was seen in the measurement of CBA, followed by CVA and OTDA. However, in evaluating the long-term stability of molding treatment, OTDA tended to continue improving after the initial treatment, while CBA and CVA appeared to regress, although none of the changes reached statistically significant levels. In dental measurements, all the dental midline and chin deviations were toward the unaffected side with respect to occipital deformation.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that helmet remodeling with the dynamic orthotic cranioplasty band is effective in the correction of cranial asymmetry, with some nonstatistically significant changes in long-term cranial vault symmetry. Dental observations indicated the possibility of occlusal abnormalities that may affect dental, especially orthodontic, diagnosis and treatment planning.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cephalometry
  • Facial Asymmetry / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Malocclusion / etiology
  • Orthotic Devices*
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / complications
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / pathology
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome