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Metopic ridge

Definition

A metopic ridge is an abnormal shape of the skull. The ridge can be seen on the forehead.

Considerations

A metopic ridge occurs when the two halves of the frontal bones of the skull join together too soon.

The metopic suture normally begins to close in the second year of life. It is usually completely closed during the third year. However, it remains unclosed throughout life in 10% of the population.

Common Causes

Congenital craniosynostosis (particularly trigonocephaly) is a common cause of metopic ridge.

Call your health care provider if

Call your health care provider if you notice a ridge along your infant's forehead or a ridge forming on the skull.

What to expect at your health care provider's office

The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about the child's medical history.

Questions may include:

  • When did you first notice this?
  • Are there any other ridged sutures?
  • Does the child have any other symptoms?

Diagnostic tests may include:

No treatment or surgery is needed for a metopic ridge.

References

Kaney PM. Congenital malformations of the skull and meninges. Otolaryngol Clin N Am. 2007;40:9-26.

Gunny RS, Chong WK. Paediatric neuroradiology. In: Adam A, Dixon AK, eds. Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology. 5th ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingston; 2008:chap 70.


Review Date: 10/31/2009
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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