Author(s): Husson B, Pariente D, Tammam S, Zerah M
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Abstract Growing skull fracture (GSF) is a progressive enlargement of a fracture due to an underlying tear of the dura mater. It is a rare complication of severe head injury mainly reported in young children. Classically, the diagnosis is made during follow-up, late after the original injury, when a palpable skull defect or a bulging mass is discovered clinically. Initial skull radiographs show a diastatic fracture developing later into a large bony defect. CT will show the brain damage which is usually present beneath the fracture. We present the MRI findings of GSF in a series of eight children. All patients initially had a large linear fracture and underlying brain damage on CT. In all cases MRI showed a zone of the same intensity as the brain contusion or cerebrospinal fluid advancing through the bone margins of the fracture to the subcutaneous plane. This finding was interpreted as an indirect sign of the dural tear. Seven patients were operated on with surgical confirmation of GSF. MRI can make an early diagnosis of GSF possible so that surgical repair with closure of the dura can be carried out before the dural tear enlarges.
This article was published in Pediatr Radiol
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