Although the incidence of elevated intracranial pressure is increased in patients with the craniosynostosis syndromes, the significance of these findings and their impact on clinical practice remain unclear. The morbidity related to elevated intracranial pressure in patients with Apert and Pfeiffer syndromes was reviewed. Sixty-seven patients with Apert syndrome and 39 patients with Pfeiffer syndrome were identified. The morbidity in 5 of the 106 patients (4.7 percent) was felt to be directly related to persistently elevated intracranial pressure. These included 2 deaths, 1 due to brainstem herniation after an elective subcranial Le Fort III advancement and 1 following removal of a lumboperitoneal shunt during the surgical release of syndactyly. The remaining 3 complications included bilateral papilledema detected 3.5 years after cranial vault remodeling in 1 patient and venous hypertension with excessive bleeding detected during elevation of the bicoronal flap in 2 patients, resulting in delay of a planned Le Fort III advancement. Patients with the syndromal craniosynostoses are at risk for complications resulting from elevated intracranial pressure from infancy through adulthood despite surgical attempts to increase cranial capacity in infancy. Clinical guidelines are proposed by which these patients should be evaluated beyond infancy in a regular fashion so as to reduce morbidity from unrecognized elevations in intracranial pressure.
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