Cleft & Craniofacial Center

Craniosynostosis Testing and Diagnosis

Seek an evaluation if your newborn, infant or young child has visible signs of craniosynostosis, such as:

  • Abnormally shaped head
  • Bulging soft spot (fontanel) on the top of the head
  • Facial abnormalities, including flattened forehead and asymmetrical ears or eyes
  • Hard, bony ridge forming along the affected suture
  • Slower growth in the head compared with the body

If craniosynostosis goes untreated, pressure can build up and cause developmental problems or brain injury.

Ask for a Referral

Talk to your pediatrician or primary care provider about your concerns and ask for specialized services. The team will review your child’s medical information and previous imaging tests. If your infant is a candidate for further evaluation, we’ll help you schedule a visit with a University Children’s Health surgeon.

Diagnosing Craniosynostosis

Take advantage of our experience in diagnosing craniosynostosis. Our experts rely on a physical exam, head measurements and imaging tests such as an ultrasound or CT scan (computed tomography) of the head to diagnose your child.

We use a special CT scanner that provides detailed 3D views of the skull with less radiation exposure to your child. This advanced technology helps us see the head sutures more accurately.

Craniosynostosis vs. Positional Plagiocephaly

Positional plagiocephaly is sometimes mistaken for craniosynostosis. Plagiocephaly is not a type of craniosynostosis. It’s a flattened spot on the head, but the bones do not close together early. It can affect the look of a baby’s head, face or ears.

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