Craniosynostosis, is a condition, characterized by premature closing of one or more cranial sutures between the bones of the baby’s skull. Such a kind of condition occurs, much before the brain develops fully.
The following tests are employed for diagnosing craniosynostosis:
Children with no other associated underlying conditions do well after surgical intervention. Prognosis of craniosynostosis depends on the number of sutures involved and overall health condition of the child .
In case, when other associated anomalies are involved then the head deformity can be permanent, even if treatment is not initiated on time. Failure to initiate treatment on time can cause development of seizures, intracranial pressure and developmental delay .
The exact cause of craniosynostosis is unknown. However, the involvement of genes in the premature fusion of cranial sutures of the skull has been found to play foul . Craniosynostosis is classified under 2 categories: nonsyndromic and syndromic. The cause of the former condition is unknown. In the latter type, genes and heredity are known to play foul. Genetic syndromes such as Crouzon syndrome, Apert syndrome and Pfeiffer syndrome are associated with abnormal skull development of the baby. In the year 1912, Crouzon was the first to describe heredity as the factor for development of craniosynostosis .
Craniosynostosis is estimated to occur in 1 in every 2000 live births globally. Complex craniosynotosis, wherein more than 1 suture is affected, is prevalent in 5 – 15% of the population. Occurrence of Apert syndrome and Pfeiffer syndrome is rare; whereas incidence of Coruzon syndrome has been recorded to be 1 in every 2,500 live births. About 40 – 55% of cases of craniosynostosis, is of the form sagittal synostosis .
Children with craniosynostosis, have abnormal osteoblactic activity along with increase osteocalcin levels, decrease in production of alkaline phosphatase and a decreased growth rate. In addition, affected children also have increases epidermal growth factor and platelet – derived growth factor.
New bone formation has been observed when resected sutures were histophatlogically examined. Such a phenomenon causes development of ridges in the affected area, which is palpable during clinical examination and is also evident during surgical procedure .
So far, no guidelines have been given to prevent craniosynostosis. However, there are certain small pieces of information suggesting that women who took adequate quantities of riboflavin, vitamin E, C and B6 were at a low risk of developing such anomalies than those who did not. Studies have suggested that, maternal nutrition has significant association with development of structural abnormalities. In view of this fact, it can be safely concluded that, consuming a nutritionally rich diet during the first trimester of pregnancy, can prevent the fetus from craniosynostosis.
This leads to significant change in the growth pattern of the skull. Craniosynostosis, in many cases is associated with underlying anomalies which may cause improper development of the brain. One or more joints may be affected by this condition and surgery is the only option to correct such a condition. If there is no underlying disease condition, then after surgery, the brain can develop appropriately .