Maxillary and sella turcica morphology in newborns with cleft lip and palate

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2005 Nov;42(6):610-7. doi: 10.1597/04-104r.1.


Objective: The first aim was to examine maxillary developmental fields by analyzing bone size parameters within the maxillary bone complex in newborns with unilateral cleft lip (UCL) and unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP). The second aim was to evaluate sella turcica morphology in unilateral cleft lip and unilateral cleft lip and palate.

Subjects and methods: Axial and profile radiographs from 40 newborns (boy-girl, 1:1) in each group (20 unilateral cleft lip and 20 unilateral cleft lip and palate) were randomly selected among radiographs taken for optimizing treatment planning. Analysis of maxillary bone size was performed on axial radiographs and size parameters were measured. Furthermore, analysis of sella turcica morphology was performed on profile radiographs. The results were divided into groups with normal morphology and severe deviations in the morphology.

Results: The maxillary areas were significantly shorter and broader in unilateral cleft lip and palate than in unilateral cleft lip. A profound asymmetry in the maxillary areas was seen in unilateral cleft lip and palate, but not in unilateral cleft lip. In both cleft types, approximately half of the individuals had deviations in sella turcica morphology. The most severe deviations occurred in newborns with unilateral cleft lip and palate.

Conclusions: In newborns with unilateral cleft lip and palate, the maxillary areas are significantly shorter, broader, and more asymmetric than in newborns with unilateral cleft lip. The present study showed that bone structures are a suitable parameter for characterizing the craniofacial developmental fields. Additionally, a high incidence of deviations in sella turcica morphology might indicate that this area is affected in individuals with clefts.

MeSH terms

  • Cephalometry
  • Cleft Lip / pathology*
  • Cleft Lip / physiopathology
  • Cleft Palate / pathology*
  • Cleft Palate / physiopathology
  • Dental Arch / pathology
  • Facial Asymmetry / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maxilla / growth & development
  • Maxilla / pathology*
  • Sella Turcica / growth & development
  • Sella Turcica / pathology*