Refractive error and ocular motility in plagiocephaly

Childs Nerv Syst. 1994 May;10(4):210-6. doi: 10.1007/BF00301156.


Plagiocephaly, which is caused by premature closure of one of the coronal sutures, leads to fronto-orbital asymmetry. The aim of this work was to study the repercussions of orbital deformation on the visual system. Twenty-one patients presenting with plagiocephaly at birth and operated on by the same craniofacial technique (bilateral approach with translation and advancement of the entire involved orbits) were included in the study. All of the patients were examined by clinical anthropometry with three-dimensional reconstruction and underwent complete eye examination by the same observer. Follow-up after craniofacial surgery ranged from 15 months to 4 years. In the last few years, three-dimensional reconstruction has shown that the anatomic region affected by the deformation is the frontozygomatic region and has thus made it possible to advance to another theory on the origins of ocular problems. The severe effect of orbital anomalies on the development of the visual system (binocular vision, strabismus with amblyopia, refractive errors) has been emphasized in the literature. The present study shows that the scheduling of reconstructive surgery is fundamental and must not exceed 6 months, given the immaturity of the visual system up until this time. This means that the ophthalmologist must be able to recognize the various craniostenoses in order to schedule reconstructive surgery as soon as possible. Cooperation between the neurosurgeon and the ophthalmologist is of paramount importance if the pathogenic effects of this bone deformation are to be stopped and proper visual development preserved.

MeSH terms

  • Astigmatism / etiology
  • Astigmatism / prevention & control
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniosynostoses / diagnosis
  • Craniosynostoses / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Orbit / abnormalities
  • Orbit / surgery
  • Patient Care Team
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Refractive Errors / etiology*
  • Refractive Errors / prevention & control
  • Strabismus / etiology*
  • Strabismus / prevention & control
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology
  • Visual Acuity / physiology