Bilateral complete cleft lip and palate (BCLP) is the most severe of the common orofacial clefts and is associated with the greatest deformity during development. The aim of this study was to use geometric morphometrics to evaluate palatal shape and size variability in patients with BCLP in comparison to nonclefted Czech boys. The variability of palatal size and shape in BCLP patients was greater when compared with the nonclefted population. Though palate variability in BCLP was wide, nonclefted palatal shapes were generally different (a high, wide and vaulted palate) and fell almost outside the range of BCLP variability. The palatal size and shape of BCLP patients (range from 12.1 to 16.5 years) was not correlated with age. A comparison of the mean shapes of the clefted and nonclefted groups showed that the BCLP palate is flatter and narrower. The most notable size difference was found in the area between the maxilla and premaxilla. This phenomenon is associated with the persisting separation of the premaxilla from the rest of the palate. The shape of the palatal configuration of the premaxilla and adjacent area was concave in the nonclefted group and convex in BCLP patients.
Copyright © 2011 European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.