Development in toddlers with and without deformational plagiocephaly

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011 Jul;165(7):653-8. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.92.


Objective: To determine whether the heightened risk of developmental delays seen in infancy in patients with deformational plagiocephaly (DP) continues into the toddler years.

Design: Longitudinal study comparing the development of children with and without DP, with assessments in infancy (mean age, 7 months) and at age 18 months.

Setting: Infants with DP were recruited from a large craniofacial center, and unaffected infants were recruited from a research registry.

Participants: The study included 227 children with DP and 232 children without previously diagnosed DP.

Main exposure: Diagnosis of DP by a craniofacial specialist.

Main outcome measures: Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition, scores.

Results: Toddlers with DP scored lower than did unaffected children on all the scales of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition. Motor score differences were smaller and cognitive and language score differences were greater than those observed in infancy.

Conclusions: Toddlers with DP continue to exhibit evidence of developmental delays relative to toddlers without DP. These findings do not necessarily imply a causal relationship between DP and development because children with delays may be more likely to develop DP. Nonetheless, it seems that increased developmental surveillance is warranted in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Infant
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / complications*
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index