Cleft Lip and Palate in Ectodermal Dysplasia

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2021 Feb;58(2):237-243. doi: 10.1177/1055665620949124. Epub 2020 Aug 30.


Objective: Ectodermal dysplasia (ED) comprises multiple syndromes that affect skin, hair, nails, and teeth, and sometimes are associated with orofacial clefting. The purpose of this study is to (1) identify the prevalence and characteristics of cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) in patients with ED and (2) describe the management and outcomes.

Design: Retrospective review from 1990 to 2019.

Patients: All patients with ED treated at Boston Children's Hospital.

Main outcomes measures: Prevalence of CL/P was calculated and clinical details recorded: phenotypic anomalies, cleft type, operative treatment, and results of repair.

Results: Of 170 patients with a purported diagnosis of ED, 24 (14%) had CL/P. Anatomic categories were bilateral CL/P (67%), unilateral CL/P (8%), and cleft palate only (25%). The most common ED syndrome (37%) was ectrodactyly, ectodermal dysplasia, and cleft lip/palate (EEC). Pathogenic variants in TP63 were the most frequent finding in the 11 patients who had genetic testing. Aberrations from a typical clinical course included failure of presurgical dentofacial orthopedics, dehiscence of nasolabial adhesion, and total palatal absence requiring free-flap construction. Two patients had prolonged postoperative admission for respiratory infection. High fistula (8%) and velopharyngeal insufficiency (33%) rates reflected the predominance of bilateral complete forms.

Conclusions: As in other types of syndromic CL/P, cleft phenotypic expression in ED is more severe than the general cleft population. Further studies are needed to correlate genotype and phenotype for the distinct syndromes included in the ED spectrum.

Keywords: ectodermal dysplasia; genetics; syndromic cleft lip and palate.

MeSH terms

  • Boston
  • Child
  • Cleft Lip* / epidemiology
  • Cleft Lip* / genetics
  • Cleft Palate* / epidemiology
  • Cleft Palate* / surgery
  • Ectodermal Dysplasia* / epidemiology
  • Ectodermal Dysplasia* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies