Distinguishing craniomorphometric characteristics and severity in metopic synostosis patients

Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2021 Aug;50(8):1040-1046. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2020.11.022. Epub 2021 Jan 20.


The decision about which metopic synostosis patients should undergo surgery remains controversial. Multiple measures for radiographic severity have been developed in order to determine the optimal criteria for treatment. The aim of this study was to perform an extensive craniomorphometric analysis of patients who underwent surgery for metopic synostosis to validate and compare the various severity scales developed for this non-syndromic craniosynostosis. A comparative morphometric analysis was performed using computed tomography scans of preoperative metopic synostosis patients (n=167) and normal controls (n=44). Measurements included previous and newly developed metopic severity indices. Volumetric and area analyses were used to determine the degree of anterior cranial area and potential volume restrictions. Of the severity indices measured, the frontal angle, endocranial bifrontal angle (EBF), adjusted EBF (aEBF), anterior cranial fossa angle, horizontal cone angle, and bitemporal/biparietal distance ratio were significantly different in the metopic subjects relative to controls overall. However, metopic index, orbital rim angle, foramen ovale distance, and cranial volume exhibited no significant difference from controls. Only the frontal angle and aEBF correlated with the changes in anterior cranial dimensions observed in metopic synostosis. In conclusion, the frontal angle and aEBF provide the most accurate measures of severity in metopic synostosis.

Keywords: X-ray computed tomography; craniometry; craniosynostosis; metopic synostosis; trigonocephaly.

MeSH terms

  • Cranial Fossa, Anterior
  • Craniosynostoses* / diagnostic imaging
  • Craniosynostoses* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Skull
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed