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The Cognitive Profile of Children with Non-syndromic Craniosynostosis

Journal article
Authors Marizela Kljajić
Giovanni Maltese
Peter Tarnow
Peter Sand
Lars Kölby
Published in Plastic and reconstructive surgery
Volume 143
Issue 5
Pages 1037e-1052e
ISSN 1529-4242
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Plastic Surgery
Pages 1037e-1052e
Language en
Subject categories Cognitive science, Plastic surgery


Long-term neuropsychological and cognitive outcomes in patients with non-syndromic craniosynostosis have proven difficult to evaluate objectively due to methodological problems with published studies based on their small and biased samples of patients, wide age ranges, and testing with unacceptable psychometric properties. This study evaluated full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) and its subscales in a cohort with a small selection bias.Patients (aged 7-16 years) born with non-syndromic craniosynostosis and surgically treated were tested using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV). Ninety-one patients were invited, and 73 patients were tested.There was no difference in FSIQ between patients having undergone operations for sagittal synostosis or metopic synostosis and norms provided by the test. Patients operated on for sagittal synostosis showed a significantly higher perceptual reasoning IQ, but also significantly lower working-memory IQ and processing-speed IQ as compared with the norms. Patients operated on for metopic synostosis showed no differences in any IQ index as compared with the norm. Additionally, attrition analysis showed no differences in background factors between responders and non-responders.These results derived from a group of patients with uniform age range, and tested using an established tool revealed that non-syndromic children having undergone surgery for craniosynostosis exhibited average intellectual ability. However, the analysis indicated possible issues with working memory and processing speed in patients operated on for sagittal synostosis, highlighting impairments potentially associated with neuropsychological problems and that might contribute to learning disabilities.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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