Purpose: To review current literature with respect to the diagnosis and assessment of velopharyngeal inadequacy (VPI), including present knowledge about the most common causes of VPI.
Methods: Data sources include published reports over the past 20 years derived from computerized databases and bibliographies of pertinent articles and books. Indexing terms used were "velopharyngeal incompetence," "velopharyngeal inadequacy." "velopharyngeal insufficiency."
Conclusion: VPI is most commonly associated with cleft palate, submucous cleft palate, and following adenoidectomy. The otolaryngologist can prevent the latter by preoperative identification of physical stigmata associated with VPI. Perceptual assessment is the criterion standard for diagnosis of VPI. Multiview videofluorography and flexible nasal endoscopy provide the best direct assessments to help plan and direct the optimal treatment of VPI.