Identification and Management of Cranial Anomalies in Perinatology

Clin Perinatol. 2018 Dec;45(4):699-715. doi: 10.1016/j.clp.2018.07.008. Epub 2018 Sep 18.


Neonatal skull and head shape anomalies are rare. The most common cranial malformations encountered include craniosynostosis, deformational plagiocephaly, cutis aplasia, and encephalocele. Improved prenatal imaging can diagnose morphologic changes as early as the second trimester. Prenatal identification also provides perinatologists and neonatologists with valuable information that helps to optimize care during and after delivery. Cranial anomalies require a multidisciplinary team approach and occasionally a lifetime of care. Today, care begins with the perinatologist as many cranial anomalies can be identified in utero with recent advances in prenatal testing.

Keywords: Cranial anomaly; Cranial malformation; Craniosynostosis; Deformational plagiocephaly; Head shape deformity; Prenatal diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / diagnostic imaging*
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / epidemiology
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / surgery*
  • Craniosynostoses / diagnostic imaging
  • Craniosynostoses / epidemiology
  • Craniosynostoses / surgery
  • Encephalocele / diagnostic imaging
  • Encephalocele / epidemiology
  • Encephalocele / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Perinatology / methods*
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / diagnostic imaging
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / epidemiology
  • Plagiocephaly, Nonsynostotic / surgery
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Assessment
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal / methods*