Binary nature and radiographic identifiability of craniosynostosis

Thomas K. Pilgram, Michael W. Vannier, Jeffrey L. Marsh, B. Balfour Kraemer, Susan C. Rayne, Mokhtar H. Gado, Christopher J. Moran, William H. Mc Alister, Gary D. Shackelford, Robert A. Hardesty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives. Two independent gold standards and diagnoses from three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) images were used to examine the possibility that craniosynostosis is a binary abnormality that potentially may be diagnosed without error. Methods. Surgical reports, histology of excised sutures, and three-dimensional CT images were compared for 25 children undergoing surgical management of craniosynostosis. Surgical reports identified sutures as normal or abnormal. Histology reported suture closure on a 5-point scale. Four radiologists used three-dimensional CT images to diagnose sutures on a 6-point rated response scale. Results. Sutures with histology 0, 1, or 2 were normal on surgical reports, and those with histology 3 or 4 were abnormal. Most readers achieved nearly perfect sensitivity and specificity. Reader confidence was unrelated to degree of pathology. Conclusion. Craniosynostosis appears to be binary in our sample. Surgical reports, pathology results, and three-dimensional CT images read by experienced viewers achieved nearly perfect agreement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-896
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Radiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1994


  • Computed tomography
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Diagnostic performance
  • Three-dimensional reconstructions


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