Significant Factors in Cranial Remolding Orthotic Treatment of Asymmetrical Brachycephaly

J Clin Med. 2020 Apr 5;9(4):1027. doi: 10.3390/jcm9041027.


This retrospective chart review focuses on determining the most effective time to begin cranial remolding orthosis (CRO) treatment for infants with asymmetrical brachycephaly. Subjects with asymmetrical brachycephaly started CRO treatment between 3 and 18 months of age. These infants had a cranial vault asymmetry index (CVAI) ≥ 3.5 and a cranial index (CI) ≥ 90. Subjects were excluded if they had any comorbidities affecting growth, dropped out of treatment, were lost to follow-up, or were noncompliant. Factors which were found to statistically influence treatment outcomes were subject initial age, initial CVAI, and initial CI. Overall, younger subjects were more likely to achieve a corrected head shape. The presence of prematurity or torticollis had statistically nonsignificant effects on the success of treatment. Initial CI was found to be a stronger predictor than initial CVAI as to which subjects achieved correction. The less severe the starting CI, the more likely the subject was to achieve full correction. The clinical understanding is that it requires more cranial growth to "round out" a full posterior skull flattening than an asymmetry. Based on the study results, infants with asymmetrical brachycephaly should be treated as early as possible to increase chances of achieving full correction of the deformity.

Keywords: asymmetrical brachycephaly; brachycephaly; cephalic index (CI); cephalic ratio (CR); cranial flattening; cranial helmet; cranial orthosis; cranial vault asymmetry index (CVAI); plagiocephaly.