Single-suture craniosynostosis: is there a correlation between preoperative ophthalmological, neuroradiological, and neurocognitive findings?



In spite of literature data stating that children with single-suture craniosynostosis have an increased risk for neuropsychological deficits, no data are present clarifying the potential risk factors.


All children with non-syndromic single-suture craniosynostosis operated on from January 2014 to January 2017 were enrolled. A comprehensive neurocognitive and neuro-ophthalmological evaluation was performed before surgery and 6 months after surgery. A further neurocognitive evaluation was performed 12 months after surgery. All children had a preoperative CT/MR study.


One hundred forty-two patients were enrolled; 87 are affected by sagittal craniosynostosis, 38 by trigonocephaly, and 17 by plagiocephaly. A global neurocognitive impairment was documented in 22/87 children with scaphocephaly, 5/38 children with trigonocephaly, and 6/17 children with anterior plagiocephaly. There was a significant relationship between results of the ophthalmological evaluation, global IQ, and CT findings at diagnosis (r = 0.296, p < 0.001; r =0.187, p 0.05). Though a significant recovery was documented after surgery, a persistence of eye coordination deficits was present at 6 months in 1 out of 3 children with abnormal preoperative exams. A significant correlation was found between pathological CT findings and persistence of below average neuro-ophthalmological and neurocognitive findings 6 months after surgery, as well as between CT findings and neurocognitive scores at the 1 year follow-up (r = 0.411; p < 0.01).


The presence of neuroradiological abnormalities appears to be related to both ophthalmological and neurocognitive deficits at diagnosis. This relationship is maintained in spite of the surgical treatment in children who show the persistence of ophthalmological and neurocognitive deficits during the follow-up.

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Correspondence to F. Bianchi.

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Chieffo, D.P.R., Arcangeli, V., Bianchi, F. et al. Single-suture craniosynostosis: is there a correlation between preoperative ophthalmological, neuroradiological, and neurocognitive findings?. Childs Nerv Syst 36, 1481–1488 (2020).

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  • Scaphocephaly
  • Trigonocephaly
  • Anterior plagiocephaly
  • Neurocognitive function
  • Neuro-ophthalmological function
  • Neuroradiological evaluation