Facial and midfacial symmetry in cleft patients: Comparison to non-cleft children and influence of the primary treatment concept.


Klinikum Osnabrueck, Department of Oral and Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, Am Finkenhuegel 1, 49076, Osnabrueck, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Patients with cleft lip, alveolus and palate (CLAP) may suffer from marked asymmetry with an impact on attractiveness and psychosocial aspects. The aim of this study was to assess symmetry in CLAP patients compared to non-cleft controls of similar age with regard to cleft type and treatment concept.
METHODS : In CLAP patients with different cleft forms and in healthy non-cleft subjects (control group) a three-dimensional stereophotogrammetric face scan was performed and an objective 3D asymmetry index (AI) was calculated for the whole face, the midface, the upper lip and the nose.
RESULTS : In total, 305 patients were included: 140 CLAP patients (90 male, 50 female, mean age 9.9 ± 3.6 years) and 165 controls (87 male, 78 female, mean age 8.7 ± 2.1 years). In general, CLAP patients showed significantly higher asymmetry than controls, with the most severe asymmetry found in unilateral complete CLAP. Patients treated according to an actual concept considering reconstruction of all affected muscular systems had a significant lower and more favourable AI than patients not treated according to this concept (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS : An adequate treatment concept is essential to achieve better results concerning symmetry in CLAP, but symmetry values of healthy non-cleft controls are not reached.


Cleft lip and palate,Face scan,Profile,Symmetry,Three-dimensional,Treatment concept,

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