Phenotypic spectrum of Tessier facial cleft number 5

J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2018 Jan;46(1):22-27. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2017.10.012. Epub 2017 Oct 27.


Introduction: Craniofacial clefts belong to the most disfiguring and rare congenital malformations of the face and among these, orbito-facial clefts constitute approximately 0.22 % of the cases with Tessier cleft number 5 being the least common. Our aim was to define the phenotypic spectrum for this subgroup to improve clinical management.

Methods: Our study group consisted of four patients which were treated at two different cleft centers. Retrospective chart review and anatomical analysis were conducted for each patient based on clinical evaluation and imaging studies. Morphological anomalies including soft tissue, bone and oral components were recorded.

Results: Based on our analysis and literature review, we could define two subtypes of Tessier facial cleft number 5. (1) Medial clefts are the more severe subtype, creating a significant soft tissue and bone defect that runs vertically, through the eyelid, infraorbital rim, maxillary sinus and cheek. They have the poorer esthetic and functional prognosis, due to orbital dystopia and absence of lower eyelid. (2) Lateral clefts are a less severe subtype characterized by the presence of a vertical furrow of the cheek running laterally to the maxillary sinus.

Conclusions: We identified two subtypes of facial cleft number 5 which require an individualized surgical management.

Keywords: Cleft number 5; Craniofacial surgery; Rare facial cleft; Tessier cleft.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / classification*
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics*
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Face / abnormalities*
  • Facial Bones / abnormalities*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Retrospective Studies