Craniofacial Growth Analysis of Individuals With and Without Cleft Lip and Palate in Colombia

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2022 May;59(5):577-588. doi: 10.1177/10556656211013690. Epub 2021 May 18.


Introduction: Craniofacial growth is a dynamic and unpredictable process influenced by genetic and environmental factors, presenting phenotypic and gender differences.

Objective: Evaluate the differences in craniofacial growth and development in a group of Colombian individuals with complete unilateral and bilateral cleft lip and palate (CLP) and without CLP, classified by gender and age.

Setting and sample population: Five hundred forty-one profile radiographs of 126 patients with unilateral CLP, 126 with bilateral CLP, and 289 without CLP. All patients of affected groups had a history of CLP correction surgery without nasoalveolar molding with orthopedic and orthodontic treatments.

Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study was performed comparing 8 cephalometric measurements on radiographs, 5 linear/3 angular. Analysis was performed by median and interquartile range for all cephalometric measurements. Comparison between the groups was performed using Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U, with a 95% confidence.

Results: Significant differences between the groups of patients with and without CLP, between types of clefts and genders. The skeletal structures of patients with CLP were smaller than those of control but improved with growth. Patients with unilateral CLP presented flat profiles and predominant class III malocclusions, while patients with bilateral CLP, at early ages, were class II and in the prepubertal stage, the values were progressively negative until the end of the growth period, suggesting class III. Patients with CLP presented posteroinferior rotation of the mandible, vertical measurements increased, and deflection of the cranial base.

Conclusion: Given their growth alterations, patients with CLP benefit from orthopedic and orthodontic treatment.

Keywords: cephalometric characteristics; cleft lip and palate; congenital clefts; craniofacial growth.

MeSH terms

  • Cephalometry
  • Cleft Lip* / diagnostic imaging
  • Cleft Lip* / surgery
  • Cleft Palate* / diagnostic imaging
  • Cleft Palate* / surgery
  • Colombia
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maxilla / surgery