Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)



First Advisor

John A. Persing

Subject Area(s)

Medical imaging and radiology, Surgery


Craniosynostosis is a premature pathologic fusion of one or more sutures in the calvarial vault. The six calvarial sutures are growth sites between adjacent intramembranous bones, which allow for flexibility during passage through the birth canal and accommodation for the growing brain. Premature fusion results in obvious cranial morphologic abnormality and can be associated with elevated intracranial pressure, visual dysfunction, mental retardation and various forms of subtler learning disability.

A category of disease called isolated nonsyndromic craniosynostosis (NSC) represents nearly 85% of cases. It results in prototypical skull deformities and has newly-discovered correlations with poor neuropsychologic and visual functioning. Herein we utilize new techniques in magnetic resonance and three-dimensional computed tomographic analysis to explore neural and bony structural foundations to functional deficit. To our knowledge, this is the first report of evidence of microstructural and functional brain abnormalities in sagittal synostosis, and the first characterization of orbital abnormalities from coronal craniosynostosis that may underlie visual abnormalities.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access