Abnormal brain morphology in patients with isolated cleft lip, cleft palate, or both: a preliminary analysis

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2000 Sep;37(5):441-6. doi: 10.1597/1545-1569_2000_037_0441_abmipw_2.0.co_2.


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether adult men with cleft lip and palate (CLP) have aberrant cerebral morphology.

Design: Brain morphology of 14 adult men with isolated CLP were analyzed and compared with 14 healthy controls matched for sex, age, and parental socioeconomic status.

Setting: The research took place at a large, tertiary care hospital, with participation on an outpatient basis.

Participants: The 14 males with CLP were recruited from a large cleft lip and palate registry, while their 14 matched controls were selected from a registry of healthy volunteers collected via the Mental Health Clinical Research Center.

Results: The males with CLP have significantly smaller cerebellar size (p = .04), significantly larger frontal lobes (p = .02), and significantly smaller temporal and occipital lobes (p = .02; p = .009, respectively). No significant difference in gray/white matter ratios or laterality were found.

Conclusions: Adult males with CLP have a significantly different pattern of brain morphology, compared with healthy controls, which is most likely due to aberrant cerebral development. This study highlights the complex interaction and interdependence of craniofacial and cerebral development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain / abnormalities*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cleft Lip / complications*
  • Cleft Palate / complications*
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nerve Tissue / abnormalities