[Positional cranial deformations: a clinical-epidemiological study]

An Pediatr (Barc). 2012 Sep;77(3):176-83. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2012.02.013. Epub 2012 Mar 30.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: Cranial deformities have always existed, but it is only until recently that they provoked a greater interest. Several reports have demonstrated an increasing tendency for occipital plagiocephaly. This work presents an analysis of the clinical-epidemiological features of these deformities in our area.

Patients and methods: The medical records and neuroimaging studies of 158 children seen at our hospital due to a skull deformation were analyzed, paying special attention to risk factors.

Results: During the study period, an increase in the number of consultations for skull deformation of children was noted. The mean age for the patients at consultation was 9 months. There was a predominance of boys (68%) over girls. The deformities were: unilateral- (89.2%) or bilateral-posterior plagiocephaly (7.6%), and dolicochephaly (3.2%). In addition to the supine position for sleeping, there were several risk factors, among them pericerebral collections of cerebrospinal fluid found in 50% of children subjected to neuroimaging studies. Most children were managed conservatively, while 12 patients were given helmets, which led to an improvement in 136 cases.

Discussion and conclusions: The present findings agree with those in the current literature. A unique result of this study was the high rate of pericerebral fluid collections found in children assessed with neuroimaging methods. The increase in positional plagiocephaly seems to parallel the application of the recommendations for supine sleeping position established by the American Academy of Pediatrics for preventing the sudden infant death syndrome. The role played by Pediatricians in the detection, initial management and referral of these children is highlighted. Prevention measures seem to be more important than those regarding treatment.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / diagnosis*
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skull / abnormalities*