Axial ultrasonographic imaging of the fetal maxilla for accurate characterization of facial clefts.J Ultrasound Med. 1997 Sep; 16(9):619-25.JU
The purpose of this study was to determine whether scanning of the fetal midface in the axial plane allows accurate characterization of facial clefts. During fetal anatomic survey, facial clefts were identified in six fetuses. The midface anatomy was evaluated with ultrasonography in the coronal and axial planes, and the clefts were characterized prospectively as unilateral or bilateral and as involving the lip alone or both the lip and the palate. The integrity of the upper lip was assessed in the coronal and axial planes. The continuity of the normal C-shaped curve of the tooth-bearing alveolar ridge and the anterior six tooth sockets was assessed in the axial plane. The prospective prenatal diagnosis was correlated with postnatal findings in all cases. The clefts where characterized prospectively as unilateral cleft lip (one case), unilateral cleft lip and cleft palate (four cases), and bilateral cleft lip and cleft palate (one case). The prenatal characterization was confirmed to be correct postnatally in all cases. Prenatal sonographic evaluation of the axial view of the tooth-bearing alveolar ridge of the maxilla allows accurate determination of whether a cleft is confined to the lip or involves both the lip and the palate.