Open Access Short Report

Intensive care unit course of infants and children after cranial vault reconstruction for craniosynostosis

Olugbenga A Akingbola1*, Dinesh Singh1, Sudesh K Srivastav2, John W Walsh3, David A Jansen3 and Edwin M Frieberg1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics 1430 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA

2 Tulane Institute of Public Health and Tropical Medicine 1440 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA

3 Departments of Neurosurgery and Plastic Surgery, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:347  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-347

Published: 9 September 2011



Craniosynostosis (CSS) results from the premature closure of one or more cranial sutures, leading to deformed calvaria at birth. It is a common finding in children with an incidence of one in 2000 births. Surgery is required in order to release the synostotic constraint and promote normal calvaria growth. Cranial vault remodeling is the surgical approach to CSS repair at our institution and it involves excision of the frontal, parietal, and occipital bones. The purpose of this article is to describe the post-operative course of infants and children admitted to our PICU after undergoing cranial vault remodeling for primary CSS.


Complete data was available for analyses in only 82 patients, 44 males (M) and 38 females (F); M: F ratio was 1:1.2. Patients (pts) age in months (mo) ranged from 2 mo to 132 mo, mean 18.2 ±-24.9 mo and weights (wt) ranged from 4.7 kg to 31.4 kg, mean 10.24 ± 5.5 Kg.. Duration of surgery (DOS) ranged from 70 minutes to 573 minutes mean 331.6 ± 89.0 minutes. No significant correlation exist between duration of surgery, suture category, patient's age or use of blood products (P > 0.05). IOP blood loss was higher in older pts (P < 0.05) and it correlates with body temperature in the PICU (P < .0001). Post-op use of FFP correlated with intra-operative PRBC transfusion (P < 0.0001). More PRBC was transfused within 12 hrs-24 hrs in PICU compared to other time periods (P < 0.05). LOS in PICU was < 3 days in 68% and > 3 days in 32%. Pts with fever had prolonged LOS (P < 0. 05); re-intubation rate was 2.4% and MVD were 1.83 days. Repeat operation for poor cosmetic results occurred in 9.7% of pts.


Post-op morbidities from increased use of blood products can be minimized if cranial vault remodeling is done at a younger age in patients with primary CSS. PICU length of stay is determined in part by post-op pyrexia and it can be reduced if extensive evaluations of post-op fever are avoided.