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Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices


What is meant by decelerated head growth and overriding sutures? What can be done for it?
    
First, let us discuss what sutures are and then what are "overriding sutures." The bones of the baby's skull are held together by fibers called sutures. Mother nature designed things this way so that a newborn's head would be flexible and compressible enough to pass through the birth canal (without damage). During birth, if the bones of the skull are compressed, it can cause the bones to slightly overlap. This is normal and as the head grows these ridges (overriding sutures) disappear. These suture lines also allow the baby's skull to grow as the brain enlarges. With premature closure of the sutures (Cranial synostosis) parents will find a hard non-movable ridge over the suture line and an abnormally shaped skull.

Next, we would like to discuss what is meant by "decelerated" head growth. As the child's brain grows the size of the head (skull) also grows. This rate of head growth is not constant. Head growth (like growth in height and weight) is fairly rapid during the first year of life and gradually slows down in the second year. The normal growth curves for head circumference may be reviewed and copied from our Web site. If the growth of a child's head is thought to be slower than it should be, we call this decelerated head growth)

It is important to examine for two things.
1) Double check the measurements and make sure they are accurate.
2) Failure of the brain growth produces a small head (Microcephaly). The cause of the microcephaly may be genetic, perinatal infections such as CMV (Cytomegalovirus), metabolic abnormalities such as Phenoketonuria (PKU) or insults to the brain from lack of oxygen or blood flow.

We hope this answers your question. If it brings up more questions write us back.

 

As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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