Objective: Lambdoid craniosynostosis affects approximately 1 in 33 000 live births per year, and surgical correction is often sought in order to achieve normocephaly and allow for adequate brain growth. However, the effects of lambdoid synostosis and its treatment on cognitive development are unknown. Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Patients, Participants: A systematic review of Ovid Medline, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Clinicaltrials.gov was conducted in January 2022. Included studies assessed cognitive development of patients with nonsyndromic unilateral lambdoid craniosynostosis. Main Outcome Measures: Results of developmental tests were compared to normative data or controls to generate Hedges’ g for meta-analysis. Results: Nine studies met the inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis of 3 studies describing general cognition showed that cases scored significantly lower than their peers, but within 1 standard deviation (g = 0.37, 95% CI [−0.64, −0.10], P =.01). Meta-analysis of verbal and psychomotor development showed no significant differences in children with lambdoid synostosis. Studies were of fair quality and had moderate-to-high heterogeneity. Conclusions: Patients with lambdoid craniosynostosis may score slightly below average on tests of general cognition in comparison to normal controls, but results in other domains are variable. Analyses were limited by small sample sizes. Multidisciplinary care and involvement of a child psychologist may be helpful in identifying areas of concern and providing adequate scholastic support. Further research recruiting larger cohorts will be necessary to confirm these findings and extend them to other developmental domains such as attention and executive function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-457
Number of pages8
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • language development
  • mental development
  • psychomotor development
  • speech development


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