University of Oulu

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

A 3D follow-up study of cranial asymmetry from early infancy to toddler age after preterm versus term birth

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Author: Launonen, Anniina M.1,2,3; Aarnivala, Henri3,4,5; Kyteas, Panagiotis6;
Organizations: 1Department of Oral Development and Orthodontics, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Oral Development and Orthodontics, Unit of Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Department of Children and Adolescents, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
5PEDEGO Research Group, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Department of Orthodontics, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL 35294-0007, USA
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-11-07


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.

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Series: Journal of clinical medicine
ISSN: 2077-0383
ISSN-E: 2077-0383
ISSN-L: 2077-0383
Volume: 8
Issue: 10
Article number: 1665
DOI: 10.3390/jcm8101665
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 313 Dentistry
3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: This research was funded by The University of Oulu Scholarship Foundation, the Orthodontic Section of the Finnish Dental Association Apollonia, the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, the Alma, and K.A. Snellman Foundation, the Finnish Medical Foundation, and the Foundation for Pediatric Research in Finland.
Copyright information: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (