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Monitoring and reviewing plagiocephally

Infants with deformational plagiocephaly are seen commonly in paediatric clinics and causes parents much worry. Lucina has always relied on a clinical examination and subjective judgement, usually reassuring parents, preventing them from buying expensive correctional helmets but being very wary of identifying craniosynostosis and referring promptly. Watt A et al ( Pediatrics 2022;149:e2021051736) have completed a systematic review examining the evidence for non-radiographic screening and monitoring modalities developed to support paediatricians in achieving earlier diagnosis and more objective monitoring. They have examined 22 studies focusing on the use or evaluation of diagnostic modalities for plagiocephaly in infants published between January 1990 and August 2021. They identified five unique head shape monitoring technologies: anthropometry, plagiocephalometry, 3D laser scanning, digital photographic, and 3D photogrammetry. It is also interesting that there are now smartphone and artificial intelligence integration supporting these tools. However, as is often the case inconsistent reporting both inter- and intra-modality hindered meaningful comparison between screening tools. Substantial heterogeneity in measured outcomes, study design, and population size which made cross-study comparisons difficult. Watch this space; there is growing list of quantitative diagnostic modalities for head shape monitoring and along with artificial intelligence to 3D photogrammetry and digital photography with …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.