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Open AccessArticle

A 3D Follow-Up Study of Cranial Asymmetry from Early Infancy to Toddler Age after Preterm versus Term Birth

1
Department of Oral Development and Orthodontics, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
2
Department of Oral Development and Orthodontics, Unit of Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3
Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4
Department of Children and Adolescents, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
5
PEDEGO Research Group, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6
Department of Orthodontics, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL 35294-0007, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(10), 1665; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8101665
Received: 12 September 2019 / Revised: 5 October 2019 / Accepted: 8 October 2019 / Published: 11 October 2019
Preterm infants are at higher risk for both symmetrical and asymmetrical head molding. This study involved 3D stereophotogrammetry to assess the cranial growth, molding, and incidence of deformational plagiocephaly (DP) in preterm children compared to term born children. Thirty-four preterm infants and 34 term born controls were enrolled in this study from Oulu University Hospital, Finland. Three-dimensional head images were obtained at the age of 2–4 months (T1), 5–7 months (T2), 11–13 months (T3), and 2.5–3 years (T4) from the term equivalent age (TEA). There was no statistically significant difference in oblique cranial length ratio (OCLR), cephalic index (CI), or weighted asymmetry score (wAS) between the two groups. Occipital flattening, defined by flatness score (FS) was statistically significantly greater in the preterm group than in the term group at T1–T4 (p < 0.05). In both groups, OCLR improved gradually over time. There were no instances, in either group, of severe DP and no moderate DP after T2. Results indicate that DP affects preterm and full-term children almost equally during the first three years of life, and cranial asymmetry resolves at a similar rate in both preterm and term groups after three months of corrected age. Preterm infants present with more occipital flattening than full-term children. View Full-Text
Keywords: preterm; 3D-imaging; deformational plagiocephaly; cranial growth; oblique cranial length ratio; cephalic index; flatness score; weighted asymmetry score preterm; 3D-imaging; deformational plagiocephaly; cranial growth; oblique cranial length ratio; cephalic index; flatness score; weighted asymmetry score
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Launonen, A.M.; Aarnivala, H.; Kyteas, P.; Vuollo, V.; Heikkinen, T.; Kau, C.H.; Pirttiniemi, P.; Harila, V.; Valkama, A.M. A 3D Follow-Up Study of Cranial Asymmetry from Early Infancy to Toddler Age after Preterm versus Term Birth. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 1665.

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