A Review on Variability in Treatment Protocols With Posterior Cranial Vault Distraction

Paymon Sanati-Mehrizy, Francis Graziano, Farah Sayegh, Dylan M. Taub, Peter Morgenstern, Saadi Ghatan, Peter J. Taub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background:Prior studies have confirmed the ability of posterior cranial vault distraction osteogenesis (PVDO) to expand the intracranial volume in patients with craniosynostosis. To date, there is scant literature on the optimal distraction protocol for PVDO. The authors sought to review the literature and define a common protocol for posterior cranial vault distraction.Methods:The authors performed a systematic review for published PVDO protocols. The data collected from these studies included age at the time of PVDO, number of distraction devices placed, time for latency, rate and rhythm of distraction, distraction length, time for consolidation, and surgical outcomes.Results:A total of 286 patients were identified within 24 studies from 2011 to 2019. The mean age of patients identified was 25.34 months. After application of distractors, latency period ranged between 1 and 7 days, with most patients undergoing 5 to 7 days of latency. Once distraction was begun, the majority of patients (77.4%) underwent 1 mm of distraction daily. Total lengths of distraction ranged between 13 and 35 mm, with the largest cohort of patients undergoing 26 to 30 mm of total distraction. A total of 60 complications were reported for a total of 212 patients, yielding an overall complication rate of 28.3%.Conclusions:Although there is variability in reported PVDO protocols, the majority are similar to distraction osteogenesis protocols described for long bone sites. Increased patient age correlates with selection of a greater latency period and total distraction length, while frequency of complications is also increased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1236-1239
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2021


  • Craniosynostosis
  • posterior vault distraction osteogenesis
  • protocol


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