Cranial lacunae (foci of attenuated calvarial bone) are CT equivalents of "copper beating" seen on plain skull radiographs in children with craniosynostosis. The qualitative presence of copper beating has not been found to be useful for the diagnosis of intracranial hypertension (IH) in these patients. 3D morphometric analysis (3DMA) allows a more systematic and quantitative assessment of calvarial attenuation. We used 3DMA to examine the relationship between cranial lacunae and IH in children with Crouzon and Apert syndromic craniosynostosis.
Patients were divided into IH and non-IH groups defined on an intention-to-treat basis. Pre-operative CT scans were converted into 3D skull models and processed to quantify lacunae as a percentage of calvarium surface area (LCP). This was done on individual bone and whole skull basis.
Eighteen consecutive children with Crouzon's syndrome and 17 with Apert syndrome were identified. Median age at CT scan was 135 days (range 6-1778). Of the 35 children, 21 required surgery for IH at median age of 364 days (range 38-1710). Of these 21 children, 14 had lacunae with mean LCP of 3% (0-28%). Of the 14 non-IH children, 8 had lacunae with mean LCP of 2% (0-8%). LCP was not significantly different between IH and non-IH groups. Parietal bones were most likely to show lacunae (IH 14/21, non-IH 9/14), followed by occipital (IH 8/21, non-IH 3/14), and frontal (IH 6/21, non-IH 2/14).