Our hypothesis was that a neurocranial suture autograft will, when shielded from dura, grow and be incorporated into the calvarium. Growth was monitored by marker separation in three isohistogenic groups of rabbits, between postnatal days 9 and 90. In order to simulate increased neurocapsular expansion force, the left-sided coronal suture of a group of 20 rabbits was immobilised with a resorbable suture on gestational day 25. The other group of 10 rabbits was sham-operated. On postnatal day 9, 10 of the experimental rabbits underwent transplantation of the suture contralateral to the defect resulting from extirpation of the immobilised suture. The transplant was shielded from dural influence by a platinum foil. The growth of the immobilised coronal sutures was severely impaired, and also that of the contralateral unicoronal sutures to a lesser extent. A significant catch-up of growth occurred in the transplanted unicoronal sutures. Overgrowth occurred at the donor sites. The results allow us to consider suture transplantation combined with endosteal dura stripping in craniosynostosis surgery.
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