Kleeblattschaedel

Cloverleaf skull

Overview

Type of disease: Rare conditions

Kleeblattschaedel or “cloverleaf skull” is a term used to describe the shape of a malformed skull which consists of three lobes. This malformation occurs when the bones of the skull fuse (close) prematurely, or too early in development. This causes other facial and head abnormalities such as downward displacement of the ears so that they face the shoulders, flattened nose, widely spaced eyes, bulging of the eyes, and difficulties closing the eyelids completely. Hydrocephalus (also known as “water on the brain”), an abnormal build up fluid from the spinal cord and brain occurs in the spaces around the brain, is often associated with Kleeblattschaedel as well. Kleeblattschaedel may occur alone (isolated finding) or along with other abnormalities that make up various genetic syndromes. When isolated, this condition is more common in females than males and occurs sporadically (randomly, not inherited). It may be diagnosed during pregnancy by ultrasound or will be evident at birth. Early death has occured in most documented cases.

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