Effectiveness of ultrasonographic evaluation of the cranial sutures in children with suspected craniosynostosis

Eur Radiol. 2009 Mar;19(3):687-92. doi: 10.1007/s00330-008-1193-5. Epub 2008 Oct 22.


Computed tomography (CT) is the 'gold standard' for evaluation of the cranial sutures. While prenatal cranial suture evaluation with ultrasound (US) is common, US has not been established as a postnatal screening tool. We evaluated the effectiveness of US for diagnosis of craniosynostosis (CS). During 2006, 24 infants with questionable CS were assessed with US of the sagittal, metopic, and bilateral coronal and lambdoid sutures. US findings and clinical records were reviewed retrospectively. Sixteen boys and eight girls (ages 1-11 months, mean 4.3) underwent US. The correct diagnosis was provided in 23 (95%), with equivocal findings in one patient. Cranial sutures appeared normal in 15 infants, who had normal clinical presentation at mean 5.8 months follow-up; CT confirmation was obtained in two. In eight children, US identified premature closure of one or more cranial sutures. Three-dimensional CT was performed as a preparation for surgery in four, with classical CS findings. In one case with inconclusive US findings, CT showed narrow but open sutures. Sonographic examination of cranial sutures may serve as a first imaging tool for evaluation of craniosynostosis. CT may be reserved for children with abnormal or equivocal ultrasound and for preoperative planning.

MeSH terms

  • Cranial Sutures / diagnostic imaging*
  • Craniosynostoses / diagnosis*
  • Craniosynostoses / diagnostic imaging*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Radiography
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography / methods*