Physiologic closure time of the metopic suture in South Australian infants from 3D CT scans
Metopic synostosis is a craniofacial condition characterised by the premature fusion of the metopic suture. This early fusion restricts frontal bone growth  and has significant impacts on the developing infant during a critical phase of rapid growth and development . Diagnosis of the condition is usually achieved by clinical assessment, followed by a three-dimensional computed tomography (3D CT) scan, verifying premature metopic suture fusion.
This retrospective study aims to investigate the timing of metopic suture fusion in the developing infant in an Australian subpopulation.
The study evaluates metopic suture fusion in 258 cranial 3D CT scans of children aged 0–24 months over a 5-year period (2011–2016), scanned at Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
The findings suggest that the age range over which physiologic metopic suture fusion occurs is larger than previously reported.
The approximate range for physiologic fusion was found to be 3–19 months and patients with fusion within this range can be considered normal. Complete suture fusion is expected by 19 months. Additionally, results indicate suture fusion prior to 3 months is abnormal and diagnostically indicative of metopic synostosis.
KeywordsCraniosynostosis Metopic synostosis Trigonocephaly Suture biology
The authors would like to thank the Australian Craniofacial Unit and Women’s and Children’s Medical Imaging Unit for their assistance in providing patient records and their ongoing support throughout this study. In addition, the authors are grateful for the support of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network Human Research Ethics Committee for providing ethical approval for the study (Audit 838A, 2016). Written informed consent was obtained from the form parent/LAR of the patient for publication of any accompanying images (Fig. 1b).
S.J. Teager: project development, data collection, data analysis and manuscript writing
S Constantine: data analysis and interpretation
N Lottering: data analysis and manuscript editing
P J Anderson: project development, manuscript editing
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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