Three-dimensional ultrasonographic imaging of fetal tooth buds for characterization of facial clefts.Early Hum Dev. 1999 May; 55(1):67-75.EH
The purpose of this prospective study was to investigate whether the antenatal characterization of fetal facial clefts can be improved by three-dimensional ultrasonographic visualization of fetal tooth buds. Between January 1996 and June 1998, seventeen consecutive fetuses with facial clefts were examined for fetal maxillary tooth buds in the cleft area using three-dimensional multiplanar reconstruction. It was possible in all cases to classify the clefts either as cleft lip alone or unilateral cleft lip and palate or bilateral cleft lip and palate. Three-dimensional computed tomography and histological jaw sections of three stillborn infants were produced in order to examine the correlation between the sonographic, radiographical and histological findings. The prenatal characterization of the facial clefts by means of a visualization of the tooth buds showed to be accurate postnatally in all cases. The sonographic proof of tooth buds might gain increasing importance as this technique seems to facilitate and improve the prenatal classification of suspected facial clefts.