Content » Vol 45, Issue 2

Original report

Asymmetric skull deformity in children with cerebral palsy: Frequency and correlation with postural abnormalities and deformities

Michiyuki Kawakami, Meigen Liu, Tomoyoshi Otsuka, Ayako Wada, Ken Uchikawa, Asako Aoki, Yohei Otaka
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine, Japan
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1081


Objective: Asymmetrical skull deformity is frequently seen in children with cerebral palsy, and may contribute to postural abnormalities and deformities. The aim of this cross-sectional- survey was to determine the frequency of asymmetrical skull deformity and its correlation with clinical parameters.
Methods: A 10-item checklist for asymmetrical skull deformity, postural abnormalities, and deformities was developed, and its inter-rater reliability was tested. A total of 110 participants aged 1–18 years (mean age 9.3 years (standard deviation 4.7)) was assessed using the checklist. The frequency of asymmetrical skull deformity was analysed and related to the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS), postural abnormalities, and deformities.
Results: The reliability of the checklist was satisfactory (κ > 0.8). Asymmetrical skull deformity was observed in 44 children, 24 showing right and 20 showing left flat occipital deformity. Its frequency was significantly related to GMFCS and with the patterns of asymmetrical posture and deformities (p < 0.05). Children with right flat occipital asymmetrical skull deformity showed predominantly rightward facial direction and right-side-dominant asymmetrical tonic neck reflex, left convex scoliosis, right-side-elevated pelvic obliquity, and left-sided hip dislocation. Those with left flat occipital asymmetrical skull deformity demonstrated the reverse tendency.
Conclusion: Asymmetrical skull deformity is frequent in cerebral palsy and closely related to asymmetrical posture and deformities. This information will be useful to manage these problems.

Lay Abstract


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