Deep orofacial phenotyping of population-based infants with isolated cleft lip and isolated cleft palate.Sci Rep. 2020 12 10; 10(1):21666.SR
Isolated orofacial clefts (OFC) are common with poorly understood aetiology. Heterogeneous phenotypes and subphenotypes confound aetiological variant findings. To improve OFC phenome understanding, population-based, consecutive, pre-treatment infants with isolated unilateral cleft lip (UCL, n = 183) and isolated cleft palate (CP, n = 83) of similar ancestry were grouped for deep phenotyping. Subphenotypes stratified by gender and cleft severity were evaluated for primary dental malformations and maturation using radiographs. We found that cleft severity and tooth agenesis were inadequate to distinguish heterogeneity in infants with UCL and CP. Both groups featured slow dental maturity, significantly slower in males and the UCL phenotype. In 32.8% of infants with UCL, supernumerary maxillary lateral incisors were present on the cleft lip side, but not in infants with CP, suggesting a cleft dental epithelium and forme fruste cleft dentoalveolus of the UCL subphenotype. The findings underscored the importance of deep phenotyping to disclose occult OFC subphenotypes.