Craniosynostosis: Diagnostic value of three-dimensional CT reconstruction

M. W. Vannier, C. F. Hildebolt, J. L. Marsh, T. K. Pilgram, W. H. McAlister, G. D. Shackelford, C. J. Offutt, R. H. Knapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) has an important role in determining the presence and extent of congenital and acquired craniofacial deformities. The authors compared the sensitivity and specificity of three-dimensional CT in the detection and characterization of craniosynostosis with that of planar CT and skull radiography. Eighty-two patients with isolated and syndromal synostoses were imaged with CT and three-dimensional CT, and 42 with skull radiography. Three-dimensional CT scan processing was performed by shaded-surface reconstruction, volumetric, and depth-coded methods. Two trained observers read each scan series in a blinded fashion. Diagnostic utility of the images was determined with receiver operating characteristic analysis. The observers ranked three-dimensional shaded images higher than other types, with three-dimensional volumetric images second and three-dimensional surface images ranked third. Results of this study demonstrate that three-dimensional shaded-surface reconstruction from CT scans is superior to conventional plain radiographs and CT scans in diagnosis craniosynostosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-673
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989


  • Children, skeletal system
  • Computed tomography (CT), image display and recording
  • Computed tomography (CT), image quality
  • Diagnostic radiology, observer performance
  • Head, CT
  • Infants, skeletal system
  • Skull, abnormalities


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