Outcome Analysis of the Effects of Helmet Therapy in Infants With Brachycephaly

J Clin Med. 2020 Apr 19;9(4):1171. doi: 10.3390/jcm9041171.

Abstract

Brachycephaly has several potential deleterious effects, including malocclusion, sleep apnea, and abnormal posture. Nevertheless, the research regarding helmet therapy as a treatment strategy for brachycephaly is limited. Herein, we aimed to analyze the factors influencing the effects of helmet therapy in infants with brachycephaly. We retrospectively reviewed the records of 207 infants aged 3-14 months with a cranial index (CI) >90% who received helmet therapy between May 2016 and October 2019 and complied with the treatment protocol well. We used a multiple regression analysis to determine which factors affected the duration of therapy and a Jonckheere-Terpstra test to establish differences in the duration of helmet therapy according to age and severity. We identified brachycephaly severity (p < 0.001), asymmetry (p < 0.001), and age (p < 0.001) as factors affecting the duration of therapy. Helmet therapy might be effective for infants with moderate to severe brachycephaly, assuming good protocol compliance. In addition, younger treatment initiation age and less severe and less asymmetric brachycephaly significantly shorten the treatment duration.

Keywords: age; brachycephaly; cranial index; helmet therapy; severity.