Insights into craniosynostosis management in low- and middle-income countries: A narrative review of outcomes, shortcomings and paediatric neurosurgery capacity

Andrew Awuah Wireko, Arjun Ahluwalia, Syed Hasham Ali, Muhammad Hamza Shah, Nicholas Aderinto, Sumitaksha Banerjee, Sakshi Roy, Tomas Ferreira, Joecelyn Kirani Tan, Christin Berjaoui, Saibaba Guggilapu, Louisa Sowah Quarshie, Hareesha Rishab Bharadwaj, Favour Tope Adebusoye, Toufik Abdul-Rahman

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Craniosynostosis, marked by premature cranial suture fusion, necessitates prompt intervention to avert developmental, neurological, and aesthetic issues. While high-income countries have advanced in managing this condition, low- and middle-income countries grapple with substantial healthcare access disparities. This narrative review explores current craniosynostosis management in low- and middle-income countries. The review focused on studies published between 2008 and 2023. The focus was neurosurgical outcomes, and the search utilised databases like PubMed, EMBASE, Google Scholar, the Cochrane Library and Scopus, incorporating specific keywords and phrases. An in-depth analysis of 21 included studies reveals noteworthy positive outcomes, including low mortality, successful corrections and sustained efficacy. These advancements stem from enhanced pre-operative strategies, surgical techniques and postoperative care. Nonetheless, challenges persist, encompassing complications, mortality, reoperations, and treatment disparities, particularly in low- and middle-income countries constrained by financial and expertise limitations. The enhancement of clinical practice and the formulation of effective policies in the future entail several key strategies. These include the reinforcement of specialised healthcare infrastructure and diagnostic capabilities, the ongoing training and retention of neurosurgeons, the improvement of funding mechanisms, and the promotion of equitable access. Additionally, a crucial focus is placed on fortifying paediatric neurosurgical care in low- and middle-income countries. The recommendations underscore the importance of collaborative initiatives, the development of specialised healthcare infrastructure, and the implementation of strategic policies to not only advance pediatric neurosurgical care but also to address existing gaps in management.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalSage Open Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2024


  • Neurosurgery
  • Developing Countries
  • Congenital Abnormalities
  • Paediatrics
  • Global Health
  • Craniosynostosis


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