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Metopic ridge
Metopic ridge


A metopic ridge is an abnormal shape of the skull. The ridge can be seen on the forehead.


A metopic ridge is similar to other ridged sutures. It occurs when the two halves of the frontal bones of the skull join together prematurely.

The metopic suture normally begins to close in the second year of life, and is usually completely closed during the third year. However, it remains unclosed throughout life in 10% of the population.

Common Causes:

Congenital craniosynostosis , particularly trigonocephaly, is a common cause for metopic ridge.

Home Care:

Call your health care provider if:

Call your health care provider if you notice a ridge along the forehead of your infant or a ridge forming over any of the normal sutures of 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.

Questions may include:

  • When did you first notice this?
  • Are there any other ridged sutures ?
  • Does the child have any other symptoms?

Diagnostic tests may include:

  • Head CT (maybe)
  • Skull x-ray

No treatment or surgery is required for a metopic ridge.


Ridgway EB. Skull deformities. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2004; 51(2): 359-87.

Grainger RC, Allison D, Adam, Dixon AK. Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 4th ed. Orlando, Fl: Churchill Livingstone; 2001:2484.

Review Date: 11/14/2007
Reviewed By: Deirdre O’Reilly, M.D., M.P.H., Neonatologist, Division of Newborn Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston and Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100