Increased Incidence of Ophthalmologic Findings in Children With Concurrent Isolated Nonsyndromic Metopic Suture Abnormalities and Deformational Cranial Vault Asymmetry

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2021 Apr;58(4):497-504. doi: 10.1177/1055665620954739. Epub 2020 Sep 15.


Objective: The purpose of this project was to study the incidence of ophthalmologic findings which are known to be risk factors for amblyopia in children who have coexisting metopic suture abnormalities and deformational plagiocephaly (DP) and brachycephaly (DB).

Design: Institutional Review Board-approved retrospective study reviewing records of a consecutive cohort of children under 2 years of age with metopic suture abnormalities and cranial vault asymmetries seen in both the plastic surgery and ophthalmology clinics from 2007 to 2017.

Setting: Institutional tertiary care center with all care in plastic surgery under the senior author and the standard of care accepted in pediatric ophthalmology under one of two ophthalmologists.

Patients: After application of exclusion criteria, 76 children diagnosed with metopic suture abnormalities and DP/DB were included in the study. Patients with severe trigonocephaly, other suture involvement, syndromic diagnoses, and primary ocular disorders were excluded.

Main outcome measures: Describe the incidences of refractive errors (astigmatism, hyperopia, and myopia), anisometropia, strabismus, and amblyopia within the study population.

Results: In our patient population, the rates of amblyopia (17.1%) and strabismus (15.8%) are higher than the general pediatric population rates of 1.5% to 1.8% and 2.4% to 3.6%, respectively. Overall, 47.4% had significant refractive error: 28.9% with astigmatism, 15.8% with hyperopia, 5.3% with myopia, and 10.5% with anisometropia.

Conclusions: In our patient population, children with coexisting metopic suture abnormalities and DP or DB had significant risk for amblyopia, strabismus, and refractive errors.

Keywords: brachycephaly; craniosynostosis; deformational; metopic; ophthalmology; plagiocephaly.

MeSH terms

  • Amblyopia*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Ophthalmology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sutures