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Orofacial clefts: Reflections on prenatal diagnosis and family history based on a series of cases of a tertiary children hospital.

Congenital Anomalies 2023 August 32
Prenatal diagnosis of orofacial clefts allows adequate counseling and planning for prenatal care and delivery. In 2001, two-dimensional ultrasound screening became universally used in Portugal by government guidelines, and after 2007 more advanced ultrasound became available. This study aimed to describe the prevalence of family history in patients with orofacial clefts and analyze prenatal diagnosis in patients born before 2001, between 2001 and 2007 and after 2007. Retrospective analysis of a cohort of patients with orofacial clefts followed by the trans-disciplinary team of a tertiary hospital. A total of 672 OFCs were identified: 40.9% isolated cleft palate, 38.1% cleft lip and palate, 19.7% cleft lip and 1.3% atypical cleft; 57.1% were male. The prevalence of family history was 26.0% of which 30.9% had a recognizable syndrome. Of those born before 2001, 13.7% had prenatal diagnosis; of those born between 2001 and 2007, 32.6% orofacial clefts were diagnosed in utero; and in children born after 2007, prenatal diagnosis increased to 47.1%. In our study, about one-fourth of children had a positive family history. Since the implementation of universal ultrasound screening in Portugal, more orofacial clefts were identified in utero (42.5% vs. 13.7%; p < 0.05) and after the availability of advanced ultrasound, prenatal diagnosis increased to 47.1% (vs. 20.4% before 2007; p < 0.05). Of all orofacial clefts diagnosed prenatally, ultrasound revealed more accuracy for the diagnosis of cleft lip and palate (65.4%) and cleft lip (24.8%). Cleft palate is the most difficult to detect in utero (9.3%). Prenatal ultrasound screening in Portugal has technically evolved with consequent better diagnostic accuracy for the identification of orofacial clefts, allowing better parenteral counseling.

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