Infantile Cranial Fasciitis: A Clinicopathologic Evaluation

J Craniofac Surg. 2023 Jun 1;34(4):1226-1230. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000009234. Epub 2023 Mar 6.


Objective: To investigate the clinicopathologic features, immunophenotype, molecular genetic changes, and differential diagnosis of cranial fasciitis (CF).

Methods: The clinical manifestations, imaging, surgical technique, pathologic characteristics, special staining, and immunophenotype, as well as break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization assay for USP6 of 19 CF cases were analyzed, retrospectively.

Results: The patients were 11 boys and 8 girls, aged 5 to 144 months, with a median age of 29 months. There were 5 cases (26.31%) in the temporal bone, 4 cases (21.05%) in the parietal bone, 3 cases (15.78%) in the occipital bone, 3 cases (15.78%) in the frontotemporal bone, 2 cases (10.52%) in the frontal bone, 1 case (5.26%) in the mastoid of middle ear, and 1 case (5.26%) in the external auditory canal. The main clinical manifestations were painless, with the presentation of masses that grew rapidly and frequently eroded the skull. There was no recurrence and no metastasis after the operation. Histologically, the lesion consists of spindle fibroblasts/myofibroblasts arranged in bundles, braided or atypical spokes. Mitotic figures could be seen, but not atypical forms. Immunohistochemical studies showed diffuse strong positive SMA and Vimentin in all CFs. These cells were negative for Calponin, Desmin, β-catenin, S-100, and CD34. The ki-67 proliferation index was 5% to 10%. Ocin blue-PH2.5 staining showed blue-stained mucinous features in the stroma. The positive rate of USP6 gene rearrangement detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization assay was about 10.52%, and the positive rate was not related to age. All patients were observed for 2 to 124 months and showed no signs of recurrence or metastasis.

Conclusions: In summary, CF was a benign pseudosarcomatous fasciitis that occurs in the skull of infants. Preoperative diagnosis and differential diagnosis were difficult. Computed tomography typing might be beneficial for imaging diagnosis, and pathologic examination might be the most reliable way to diagnose CF.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Fasciitis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Fasciitis* / genetics
  • Female
  • Fibroma* / pathology
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • S100 Proteins
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase / genetics


  • S100 Proteins
  • USP6 protein, human
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase