Hearing and speech assessment of cleft palate patients after palatal closure. Long-term results.Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2005 Oct; 69(10):1373-81.IJ
The goal of this study was the development of a clinical methodology to assess speech and hearing impairment 5 years after the primary surgical repair of the cleft and, further, to determine the relative importance and long-term consequences of each cleft type and age to the velopharyngeal and eustachian tube function in patients who did not undergo pharyngeal flap surgery following primary palatoplasty.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We evaluated with a certain assessment protocol hearing and speech abilities of 42 patients between 5 and 15 years of age: 9 with CP (cleft of the soft and hard palate), 19 with unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP), 14 with bilateral cleft lip and palate (BCLP), surgically treated by a team of surgeons using two different surgical techniques between 18 and 24 months of age. ACCORDING TO OUR RESULTS WE WERE ABLE TO EVALUATE: (a) the impact of hearing impairment to the development of speech in these patients. (b) The relation of hypernasality with compansatory articulation. (c) The influence of cleft type, by means of extent of the cleft palatal musculature, to speech integrity.
Sixty-nine percent of our patients presented with mild and moderate hearing loss. Hypernasality was observed in 40.5%, compensatory articulation in 28.5% of our patients.
Our findings indicated: (a) a simultaneous appearance of speech and hearing impairment at the same age for each cleft type post-surgically in our patients; (b) that the muscular and vomer complex rather than the anatomic extent of the cleft is a significant factor for speech outcome after surgical repair; and (c) that hypernasality is exacerbated by compensatory articulation.