Background: The relationship between surgical age and long-term neuropsychological outcomes in sagittal-suture craniosynostosis remains equivocal. Wholevault cranioplasty and strip craniectomy are performed at various times in individuals with sagittal-suture craniosynostosis. This study used comprehensive neurological testing to examine the relationship between age at time of surgery and long-term neuropsychological function. Methods: Seventy sagittal-suture craniosynostosis patients who had previously undergone either whole-vault cranioplasty or strip craniectomy were examined divided into three groups: treatment before 6 months (n = 41), between 6 and 12 months (n = 21), and after 12 months (n = 8). To examine long-term cognitive functioning, participants between the ages of 5 and 25 years underwent neurodevelopmental tests to evaluate intelligence, achievement, and learning disabilities. Results: Compared with those treated between 6 and 12 months and after 12 months, patients who underwent surgery before 6 months demonstrated higher full-scale IQ (p < 0.01) and verbal IQ (p < 0.01). Patients who received surgery before 6 months also demonstrated superior abilities in word reading (p < 0.01), reading comprehension (p < 0.01), spelling (p < 0.01), and numerical operations (p < 0.05) relative to those who had surgery between 6 and 12 months old. A statistically significant higher percentage of patients treated after 6 months had one or more reading-related learning disabilities as compared with those undergoing earlier surgery. Conclusions: This study suggests that surgery before 6 months old results in improved long-term neurological outcomes. Future studies should examine how the technique of surgery impacts these neuropsychological measures.
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