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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Coronal suture response to distraction osteogenesis in rabbits with delayed-onset craniosynostosis.

Recent studies have identified a subpopulation of persons with craniosynostosis who exhibit progressive or delayed-onset synostosis and mild cranial vault deformities. These persons may be good candidates for nonextirpation distraction osteogenesis. The present studies were designed to determine force-displacement parameters and assess the effects of distraction osteogenesis on coronal suture growth and morphologic characteristics in a rabbit model with congenital, delayed-onset craniosynostosis. Data were collected from a total of 178 rabbits: 71 normal controls; 16 normal controls with distraction; 72 with delayed-onset coronal suture synostosis; and 19 with delayed-onset coronal suture synostosis and distraction. At 10 days of age, all rabbits had amalgam markers placed on both sides of the coronal suture. In the force-displacement study, force-displacement distractors were placed across the coronal suture and distracted acutely for 1.0 mm at 42 days of age. Force-displacement curves for the coronal suture were best described by a third-order polynomial regression equation for both normal and synostosed groups. Significant differences (P < 0.05) were found in the mean force necessary to distract a normal suture 1 mm in distance (13.72 kg) compared with a suture with delayed-onset synostosis (48.39 kg). A significant (P < 0.05) relationship was also found between the extent of synostosis and the distractive force in rabbits with delayed-onset synostosis. In the distraction study, internal distractors were fixed across the coronal suture at 25 days of age and percutaneously and intermittently activated at an average of 0.11 mm/day for 42 days (4.54 mm total). Serial radiographs were taken at 10, 25, 42, and 84 days of age. Results revealed that rabbits with delayed-onset synostosis and distraction had significantly (P < 0.01) more coronal suture growth rates compared with rabbits with delayed-onset synostosis and no distraction. Coronal sutures were harvested at 84 days of age for qualitative histologic examination. Normal, distracted coronal sutures showed widened sutural ligaments and thin, active osteogenic fronts. In contrast, distracted coronal sutures from rabbits with delayed-onset synostosis showed narrowed sutural ligaments, thickened and blunt osteogenic fronts, and increased collagen and bony matrix deposition compared with controls. Results suggest that distraction osteogenesis without corticotomy may be a treatment alternative in persons with progressive, delayed-onset synostosis. However, these preliminary data also suggest that distractive forces may accelerate or stimulate osteogenesis differentially in persons with craniosynostosis, possibly through an underlying genetic disorder of bone and cytokine regulation. These differential osteogenic responses to distraction, if validated clinically, will need to be taken into account when planning distraction rate and rhythm protocols for patients with craniosynostosis.[1]


  1. Coronal suture response to distraction osteogenesis in rabbits with delayed-onset craniosynostosis. Losken, H.W., Mooney, M.P., Zoldos, J., Tschakaloff, A., Burrows, A.M., Smith, T.D., Cano, G., Arnott, R., Sherwood, C., Dechant, J., Cooper, G.M., Kapucu, M.R., Siegel, M.I. The Journal of craniofacial surgery. (1999) [Pubmed]
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