Is an isolated cleft lip an isolated anomaly?J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2011 Jun; 64(6):754-8.JP
It is well known that patients with cleft lip/palate or cleft palate can have associated anomalies. However, there is a relative paucity of information about the possible anomalies associated with an isolated cleft lip. A recent study (Vallino et al., 2008) showed that children with cleft lip and/or alveolus often develop cleft palate-related issues. This inspired us to investigate our population.
A questionnaire was sent to the parents of 214 children with cleft lip and/or alveolus; 161 questionnaires were returned (response rate (RR): 75%) and included in our study. The study consisted of 91 boys and 70 girls (0.3-13.1 years: mean 6.8 ± 3.5 years).
Speech and/or language problems were reported in 34% and ventilation tube insertion in 21% of children with ≥6 years' follow-up. Of the children in that group, 33% reported to have undergone an episode of acute otitis media and 11% reported five episodes or more. Additional congenital anomalies were found in 4% of children with a cleft lip and in 16% of children with a cleft lip/alveolus.
Our results demonstrate that an isolated cleft lip can often be described as an isolated anomaly, although children with cleft lip and/or alveolus develop cleft palate-related issues more often than anticipated. Therefore, we suggest an intensive monitoring and treatment of children with these types of clefts.