Objective: The purpose of this study was to elucidate the anatomical development of physiologic suture closure processes in infants using three dimensional reconstructed computed tomography (CT).
Methods: A consecutive series of 243 infants under 12 months of age who underwent three dimensional CT were included in this study. Four major cranial sutures (sagittal, coronal, lambdoidal and metopic suture) were classified into four suture closure grades (grade 0=no closure along the whole length, grade 1=partial or intermittent closure, grade 2=complete closure with visible suture line, grade 3=complete fusion (ossification) without visible suture line), and measured for its closure degree (suture closure rates; defined as percentage of the length of closed suture line divided by the total length of suture line).
Results: Suture closure grade under 12 months of age comprised of grade 0 (n=195, 80.2%), grade 1 (n=24, 9.9%) and grade 2 (n=24, 9.9%) in sagittal sutures, whereas in metopic sutures they were grade 0 (n=61, 25.1%), grade 1 (n=167, 68.7%), grade 2 (n=6, 24%) and grade 3 (n=9, 3.7%). Mean suture closure rates under 12 months of age was 58.8% in metopic sutures, followed by coronal (right : 43.8%, left : 41.1%), lambdoidal (right : 27.2%, left : 25.6%) and sagittal sutures (15.6%), respectively.
Conclusion: These quantitative descriptions of cranial suture closure may help understand the process involved in the cranial development of Korean infants.
Keywords: Computed tomography; Cranial suture; Growth and development.