Anterior fontanelle closure and size in full-term children based on head computed tomography

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2014 Oct;53(12):1149-57. doi: 10.1177/0009922814538492. Epub 2014 Jun 11.


Introduction: This study investigates radiographically acquired normative ranges of anterior fontanelle closure (AFC) and surface area (SA) in healthy full-term infants.

Methods: High-resolution head computed tomography (CT) scans were retrospectively reviewed for AFC and AF dimensions to allow approximation of AF SA.

Results: Between 15 and 23 head CT scans per monthly age-group (0-24 months) were reviewed, totaling 464 scans. AFC frequency increased steadily from age 10 (16%) to 20 months (88%), reaching higher than 50% at age 16 months (53%). The AF was closed in 3% to 5% of infants at 5 to 6 months. AF median SA increased from 769.3 mm(2) (age 0 months) to 1022.2 mm(2) (2 months), then declined steadily.

Conclusions: This study provides reference charts detailing AFC frequency and AF SA as a function of age. Wide variability of AFC timing and AF size among healthy infants suggest that early or delayed AFC may represent normal variants.

Keywords: anterior fontanelle; computed tomography; coronal suture; infants; sagittal suture.

MeSH terms

  • Cranial Fontanelles / anatomy & histology*
  • Cranial Fontanelles / physiology*
  • Head / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed