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High prevalence of cranial asymmetry exists in infants with neonatal brachial plexus palsy

, : High prevalence of cranial asymmetry exists in infants with neonatal brachial plexus palsy. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine 9(4): 271-277

This study aimed to: 1) evaluate the prevalence of cranial asymmetry (positional plagiocephaly) in infants with neonatal brachial plexus palsy (NBPP); 2) examine the association of patient demographics, arm function, and NBPP-related factors to positional plagiocephaly; and 3) determine percentage of spontaneous recovery from positional plagiocephaly and its association with arm function. Infants < 1 year of age with NBPP and no previous exposure to plagiocephaly cranial remolding therapy or surgical intervention were recruited for this prospective cross-sectional study. Positional plagiocephaly (diagonal difference) measurements were captured using a fiberglass circumferential mold of the cranium. Included infants were divided into 2 groups: 1) those with positional plagiocephaly at most recent evaluation (plagio group), including infants with resolved positional plagiocephaly (plagio-resolved subgroup); and 2) those who never had positional plagiocephaly (non-plagio group). Standard statistics were applied. Eighteen of 28 infants (64%) had positional plagiocephaly. Delivery type might be predictive for plagiocephaly. Infants in the non-plagio group exhibited more active range of motion than infants in the plagio group. All other factors had no significant correlations. A high prevalence of positional plagiocephaly exists among the NBPP population examined. Parents and physicians should encourage infants to use their upper extremities to change position and reduce chance of cranial asymmetry.


PMID: 27935564

DOI: 10.3233/PRM-160396

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