Argenta clinical classification of deformational plagiocephaly

J Craniofac Surg. 2015 May;26(3):606-10. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000001511.


Introduction: A stratification system is useful in deformational plagiocephaly (DP) to help categorize patients and reproduce a consistent treatment strategy. The Argenta classification is a clinical 5-point scale for unilateral DP and 3-point scale for central DP (CDP).

Methods: A retrospective review was completed for patients with DP and classified using the Argenta clinical classification by plastic surgeons at a tertiary medical center over a 12-year period.

Results: In the 4483 patients, type III was the most prevalent DP type (42%) followed by II, IV, I, and V. Within CDP, VIB was the most common (6%) followed by VIA and VIC. Right-sided DP (56.8%) was more common than left-sided (28.3%) and bilateral (20.4%) (P < 0.0001). For treatment, 89.8% used molding helmet therapy, 9.3% used positioning only, and 0.4% used sock hat. Helmet use increased with increasing type to 98% with type V. In CDP, there was a significant increase in helmet use between VIA and VIB, but helmet use decreased in VIC. There was a higher rate of positioning only in types I, II, and VIA, which diminished as severity increased. Deformational plagiocephaly corrected to type I or 0 in 83.5% of the patients with the highest correction rate in type I (90.7%). Mean age of correction was 11.4 months and time to correction was 5.7 months. Both significantly increased with severity of type in the patients with DP but not in those with CDP.

Conclusions: The Argenta classification scale allows reliable evaluation for cranial deformities and may help predict the optimal type duration of treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head Protective Devices
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / classification
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / diagnosis
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / therapy
  • Male
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / classification*
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / diagnosis*
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies