Cloverleaf skull (craniosynostosis)

Andrew Murphy and Radswiki et al.

Cloverleaf skull, also known as kleeblattschädel, refers to a type of severe craniosynostosis which gives the skull a cloverleaf shape. It is very rare, with less than 130 case reports globally. It typically results from intrauterine premature closure of the sagittal, coronal and lambdoid sutures, through which the cranial contents bulge, giving rise to the characteristic trilobate shape (hence the name).

It is usually seen in the context of the following conditions: 

The vast majority of patients with kleeblattschadel have intellectual impairment and hydrocephalus. 

History and etymology

Kleeblattschädel is German for a cloverleaf skull.

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Article information

rID: 15575
Section: Signs
Tag: stub, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Kleeblattschaedel
  • Kleeblattschädel
  • Cloverleaf skull shape
  • Cloverleaf shaped skull

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1 : with thanatophoric dysplasia
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 3
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