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Primary Craniosynostosis

Abstract

You are reading a NORD Rare Disease Report Abstract. NORD’s full collection of reports on over 1200 rare diseases is available to subscribers (click here for details). We are now also offering two full rare disease reports per day to visitors on our Web site.

NORD is very grateful to Robert F. Keating, MD, Professor and Chief, Department of Neurosurgery; President, Medical Staff, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC, for assistance in the preparation of this report.

Synonyms of Primary Craniosynostosis

  • craniostenosis

Disorder Subdivisions

  • nonsyndromic synostosis
  • syndromic synostosis

General Discussion

Primary craniosynostosis is a general term for the improper development of the bones of the skull, which can result in an abnormal head shape in affected individuals. Craniosynostosis refers to the premature fusion of the fibrous joints (sutures) between certain bones of the skull. The severity of primary craniosynostosis can vary from one person to another. Raised intracranial pressure is unlikely with single suture abnormalities and thus intelligence is usually unaffected. Primary craniosynostosis may occur as an isolated finding or as part of a syndrome. Patients with syndromic conditions generally have more than one suture involved. Not surprisingly, the therapeutic options and outcomes are dependent upon the degree of suture involvement. The main treatment for primary craniosynostosis is surgery, but not all affected children will require surgery. The exact cause of primary craniosynostosis is unknown, although the skull abnormalities may result from the abnormal hardening (ossification) of the cranial sutures. Primary craniosynostosis is distinguished from secondary craniosynostosis, which occurs because of a primary failure in brain growth which in turn may lead to abnormalities in head shape, occasionally mimicking craniosynostosis.

Primary Craniosynostosis Resources

Please note that some of these organizations mat provide information concerning certain conditions potentially associated with this disorder.

NORD Member Organizations:

(To become a member of NORD, an organization must meet established criteria and be approved by the NORD Board of Directors. If you're interested in becoming a member, please contact Susan Olivo, Membership Manager, at solivo@rarediseases.org.)

Other Organizations:

The information in NORD’s Rare Disease Database is for educational purposes only. It should never be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes. If you have questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. NORD’s reports provide a brief overview of rare diseases. For more specific information, we encourage you to contact your personal physician or the agencies listed as “Resources” on this report.

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