Learning Radiology xray montage

Lacunar Skull
Luckenschadel Skull

General Considerations

  • Bone dysplasia of skull consisting of multiple oval lucencies separated by dense, bony ridges
  • Associated with
    • Neural tube defects, especially myelomeningocele
    • Chiari II malformation
    • Encephalocele
  • Not related to degree of concomitant hydrocephalus
  • Inner table more affected than outer

Clinical Findings

  • Present at birth
  • Unrelated to increased intracranial pressure

Imaging Findings

  • Well-defined lucent areas in calvarium representing nonossified fibrous bone
  • Lacunae are bounded by normally ossified bone
  • Most prominent in parietal bones
  • Small posterior fossa associated with Chiari II malformation

Differential Diagnosis

  • Normal convolutional markings seen during a period of rapid brain growth (3 to 7 years).
  • Increased convolutional markings associated with synostosis at an older age
  • Increased intracranial pressure - beaten-silver appearance; closed sutures; may have abnormal skull size


  • Appearance resolves spontaneously by age 6 months


  • Spontaneously disappears by 4-6 months old

Lacunar Skull. There are multiple focal areas of radiolucency in the skull (white arrows) bounded by more normal, dense bony ridges. The child had a known myelomeningocele.
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Luckenschadel. This newborn skull is markedly dysplastic with little in the way of normal, dense bony ridges.

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The Infant Skull: A Vault of Information.  RB J Glass, S K Fernbach, KI Norton, PS Choi and TP Naidich. March 2004 RadioGraphics, 24, 507-522.