Cephalometric assessment of the posterior airway space in patients with cleft palate after palatoplasty

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2003 Sep;40(5):498-503. doi: 10.1597/1545-1569_2003_040_0498_caotpa_2.0.co_2.


Objective: Upper airway obstruction and mouth breathing influence facial growth and development, which may result in breathing disorders while asleep. The purpose of the present investigation was to analyze cephalometric alterations between patients with cleft palate and a noncleft control group in an obstructive sleep disordered breathing-specific tracing.

Setting: The study was conducted in the cleft palate clinic of a university hospital.

Participants: Fifty-three subjects with a mean age of 12.3 +/- 3.7 years (range 6.3 to 17.2 years). The cohort included 33 subjects (13 females, 20 males; mean age 12.1 +/- 3.8 years, mean body mass index 17.5 +/- 2.9 kg/m(2)) with surgical closure of a unilateral or bilateral cleft palate and a matched control of noncleft participants. None of the subjects suffered from sleep disordered breathing syndrome.

Results: Compared with the controls, patients with cleft palate had a significant narrow anterior-posterior dimension of the pharynx at the level of the maxillary plane and the narrowest width, a more downward hyoid position, and a longer uvula.

Conclusions: Patients with cleft palate appear to present pharyngeal and craniofacial distinctive features that characterize patients with obstructive sleep disordered breathing and differ from those of a noncleft control.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cephalometry*
  • Child
  • Cleft Palate / complications
  • Cleft Palate / surgery*
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / diagnostic imaging
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hyoid Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Hyoid Bone / pathology
  • Male
  • Maxilla / diagnostic imaging
  • Maxilla / pathology
  • Oral Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Radiography
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / etiology*
  • Uvula / diagnostic imaging
  • Uvula / pathology