The effects of whole-vault cranioplasty versus strip craniectomy on long-term neuropsychological outcomes in sagittal craniosynostosis

Peter W. Hashim, Anup Patel, Jenny F. Yang, Roberto Travieso, Jordan Terner, Joseph E. Losee, Ian Pollack, John Jane, John Jane, Paul Kanev, Linda Mayes, Charles Duncan, David J. Bridgett, John A. Persing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The optimal type of surgical management for isolated sagittal synostosis remains a source of significant debate. There is a paucity of data regarding possible differences in long-term neuropsychological outcomes following treatment with whole-vault cranioplasty or endoscopic strip craniectomy. This study provides the first comparative analysis examining the effects of the two techniques related to long-term intellectual functioning.

METHODS: A total of 70 patients were enrolled in this multicenter study, 29 of whom had previously undergone endoscopic strip craniectomy and 41 of whom had previously undergone whole-vault cranioplasty. All patients completed a battery of neurodevelopmental tests (Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration, Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence, and Wechsler Fundamentals) to evaluate various domains of neuropsychological function.

RESULTS: In a group comparison of those treated before 6 months of age, whole-vault patients obtained higher scores relative to endoscopic strip craniectomy patients on visuomotor integration, full-scale intelligence quotient, verbal intelligence quotient, word reading, and reading comprehension (p < 0.05 for all). When compared against strip craniectomy performed before 3 months of age, the whole-vault group still showed significantly higher scores in verbal intelligence quotient, reading comprehension, and word reading (p < 0.05 for all).

CONCLUSIONS: The type of surgical intervention for isolated sagittal synostosis impacts long-term neuropsychological outcomes. Patients undergoing early whole-vault cranioplasty attained higher intelligence quotient and achievement scores relative to those undergoing strip craniectomy. Surgical management with whole-vault cranioplasty performed before 6 months of age provides the most favorable long-term intellectual outcomes in patients with isolated sagittal synostosis.


Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-501
Number of pages11
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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