Long-term outcomes in treatment of deformational plagiocephaly and brachycephaly using helmet therapy and repositioning: a longitudinal cohort study

Sybill D. Naidoo, Gary B. Skolnick, Kamlesh B. Patel, Albert S. Woo, An Lin Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Deformational plagiocephaly and/or brachycephaly (DPB) is a misshapen head presenting at birth or shortly thereafter, caused by extrinsic forces on an infant’s malleable cranium. There are two treatment methods available for DPB: helmeting and repositioning. Little is known about the long-term outcomes of these two treatment options. The purpose of this study was to examine children who received helmeting or repositioning therapy for DPB as infants and compare the long-term head shape outcomes of the two groups. Methods: A longitudinal cohort study design was used to evaluate change in head shape of the two groups. One hundred children (50 helmeted, 50 repositioned) were initially evaluated at 6 months or younger for DPB. Anthropometric skull measurements taken as infants before treatment were compared with measurements taken for this study. Inclusion criteria included initial clinic visit at age 6 months or younger, evaluation by the same practitioner, and current age 2–10 years. Cephalic index and cranial vault asymmetry were calculated based on caliper measurements. Results: Data from 100 children were evaluated for this study. Significant differences between the treatment groups in the mean change in cephalic index (p = 0.003) and cranial vault asymmetry (p < 0.001) were found; the children that used helmet therapy demonstrated greater improvement. Conclusions: This is one of the larger published long-term outcome studies comparing children that used helmets and repositioning to treat their DPB as infants. The data suggest that infants will have more improvement in head shape with a helmet than with repositioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1547-1552
Number of pages6
JournalChild's Nervous System
Volume31
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 10 2015

Keywords

  • Brachycephaly
  • Deformational plagiocephaly
  • Long-term outcomes
  • Non-synostotic plagiocephaly
  • Plagiocephaly treatment
  • Positional plagiocephaly

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