Craniosynostosis: diagnostic value of three-dimensional CT reconstruction

Radiology. 1989 Dec;173(3):669-73. doi: 10.1148/radiology.173.3.2813770.


Three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) has an important role in determining the presence and extent of congenital and acquired craniofacial deformities. The authors compared the sensitivity and specificity of three-dimensional CT in the detection and characterization of craniosynostosis with that of planar CT and skull radiography. Eighty-two patients with isolated and syndromal synostoses were imaged with CT and three-dimensional CT, and 42 with skull radiography. Three-dimensional CT scan processing was performed by shaded-surface reconstruction, volumetric, and depth-coded methods. Two trained observers read each scan series in a blinded fashion. Diagnostic utility of the images was determined with receiver operating characteristic analysis. The observers ranked three-dimensional shaded images higher than the other types, with three-dimensional volumetric images second and three-dimensional surface images ranked third. Results of this study demonstrate that three-dimensional shaded-surface reconstruction from CT scans is superior to conventional plain radiographs and CT scans in diagnosing craniosynostosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cranial Sutures / diagnostic imaging
  • Craniosynostoses / diagnostic imaging*
  • Craniosynostoses / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • ROC Curve
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*