OBJECTIVE The current literature on unilateral coronal craniosynostosis is replete with repair techniques and surgical outcomes; however, information regarding neurodevelopment remains unclear. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to comprehensively assess the neurodevelopmental outcomes of patients with unicoronal craniosynostosis compared with their healthy peers or normative data. METHODS A systematic review of the Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane Library, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases from database inception to January 19, 2022, was performed. Included studies assessed neurodevelopment of patients with unicoronal craniosynostosis. Two independent reviewers selected studies and extracted data based on a priori inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results of developmental tests were compared with normative data or controls to generate Hedges’ g statistics for meta-analysis. The quality of included studies was evaluated using the National Institutes of Health Assessment Tool. RESULTS A total of 19 studies were included and analyzed, with an overall fair reporting quality. A meta-analysis of 325 postoperative patients demonstrated that scores of general neurodevelopment were below average but within one standard deviation of the norm (Hedges’ g = −0.68 [95% CI −0.90 to −0.45], p < 0.001). Similarly, postoperative patients exhibited lower scores in verbal, psychomotor, and mathematic outcome assessments. CONCLUSIONS This systematic review and meta-analysis found that patients with unicoronal craniosynostosis had poorer neurodevelopment, although scores generally remained within the normal range. These data may guide implementation of regular neurocognitive assessments and early learning support of patients with unicoronal craniosynostosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-23
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • cognitive outcomes
  • congenital
  • meta-analysis
  • neurodevelopmental outcomes
  • systematic review
  • unicoronal craniosynostosis


Dive into the research topics of 'Neurodevelopment in unilateral coronal craniosynostosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this