Partial Suture Fusion in Nonsyndromic Single-Suture Craniosynostosis

Michael K. Boyajian, Hanny Al-Samkari, Dennis C. Nguyen, Sybill Naidoo, Albert S. Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Partial synostosis of cranial sutures has been shown to have clinical and diagnostic significance. However, there is limited published information about how suture fusion progresses over time. In this study, we evaluate patients with nonsyndromic single-suture synostosis. We aim to define the incidence of partial versus complete suture fusion and whether a correlation exists between the degree of suture fusion and age. Methods: Two hundred fifty-four patients with nonsyndromic single-suture synostosis were evaluated. Preoperative computed tomography (CT) scans were rendered in 3-dimensions, all sutures were visualized and assessed for patency or fusion, and length of fusion was measured. Findings were grouped according to suture type (sagittal, coronal, metopic, or lambdoid), the degree of fusion (full, >50%, or <50%), and patient age at time of CT scan (0-90, 91-180, 181-360, or >360 days). Data were analyzed to correlate patient age versus the degree of suture fusion. Results: For all patients, 72% had complete and 28% had partial synostosis. Ratios of full to partial fusion for each suture type were as follows: sagittal 97:36, coronal 35:22, metopic 46:4, and lambdoid 4:10. The sagittal, coronal, and metopic groups demonstrated greater probabilities of complete suture fusion as patient age increases (P =.021, P <.001, P =.001, respectively). This trend was also noted when all sutures were considered together by age-group (P <.001). Conclusion: We note a partial suture fusion rate of 28.3%. Our analysis shows a correlation between the extent of suture synostosis and patient age. Finally, we demonstrate that different sutures display different patterns of partial and complete fusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-505
Number of pages7
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • computed tomography
  • craniofacial growth
  • craniofacial morphology
  • facial growth
  • pediatrics
  • synostosis


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