Promoting ossification of calvarial defects in craniosynostosis surgery by demineralized bone plate and bone dust in different age groups

Mikko Savolainen*, A. Ritvanen, J. Hukki, P. Vuola, J. Telkkä, J. Leikola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Correction of calvarial defects after calvarial vault reconstruction (CVR) is challenging in craniosynostosis patients of advanced age and typically employs autologous bone. Demineralized bone matrix (DBM) is a potential alternative material for autologous bone, but its use has not been extended to correct calvarial defects. CVR patients operated at the Department of Plastic Surgery, Helsinki University Hospital, during 2008–2010 were retrospectively reviewed. Inclusion criteria of the study were CVR patients who received DBM plate, with or without bone dust, on calvarial defects and who had suitable uncovered defect on the contralateral side as control. This study included 17 craniosynostosis and one positional plagiocephaly patient, whose mean age was 6.9 years (range 0.9–19 years). The mean follow-up time was 5.6 years. The fusion degree of all defects was measured from 1 week to 1 year postoperatively using three-dimensional computed tomography (3D CT) images by the OsiriX© method. Medical records were reviewed for DBM-related complications. A total of 26 defects were covered with a DBM plate (mean area 11.1 cm2) and 26 control defects were identified (mean area 7.8 cm2). The mean fusion degree of the DBM defects was 74% and 54% for the controls (p < 0.001). The mean fusion degree of nine DBM defects that lacked bone dust deposition was 66% and 55% for the nine controls (p < 0.059). The difference between the DBM and control defects was statistically significant for patients older than 30 months (p < 0.03). No DBM-related complication was observed. DBM plate is a safe and useful material to promote ossification in calvarial defects in CVR. Furthermore, DBM appears to be more effective in older patients (>30 months) than in younger patients or when used with bone dust.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-119
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Calvarial defect
  • Calvarial reconstruction
  • Craniosynostosis surgery
  • Demineralized bone


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