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A metopic ridge is an abnormal shape of the skull. The ridge can be seen on the forehead.
The skull of an infant is made up of bony plates that allow for growth of the skull. The place where these plates connect are called sutures or suture lines. They do not close up until the second or third year of life.
Metopic ridge occurs when the two bony plates in the front skull join together too early.
The metopic suture remains unclosed throughout life in 1 in 10 people.
A birth defect called craniosynostosis 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.
Tests may include:
No treatment or surgery is needed for a metopic ridge.
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.
Kinsman SL, Johnston MV. Craniosynostosis, In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 585.12.
- Last reviewed on 10/22/2011
- 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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This page was last updated: May 20, 2014