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Comparison of facial form in primary alveolar bone-grafted and nongrafted unilateral cleft lip and palate patients: intercenter retrospective study

C A Trotman, R E Long, S W Rosenstein, C Murphy, L E Johnston
Cleft Palate-craniofacial Journal 1996, 33 (2): 91-5
The purpose of this study was to describe and compare posttreatment craniofacial morphology in samples of complete unilateral cleft lip and palate (CUCLP) patients treated at two leading clinics: The Children's Memorial Hospital Cleft Palate Clinic, Chicago, Illinois, and the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. These centers have well-defined treatment protocols that allow the long-term effects on craniofacial form of the following treatment regimes to be contrasted: (1) Chicago--primary alveolar bone grafting, with definitive lip repair at age 4 to 6 months and hard and soft palate repair at 6 to 12 months; and (2) Lancaster--definitive triangular-flap lip repair at 3 months of age, followed by staged surgeries of the hard and soft palates, both completed by 18 months of age, but without primary alveolar bone grafting. Although the Lancaster center now performs secondary alveolar bone grafting, the majority of the patients studied here were treated before this procedure became part of their protocol. Patients were eligible for inclusion if they had no other congenital anomalies and no previous orthodontic treatment. A sample of 43 (24 male, 19 female) CUCLP patients was obtained from the Chicago Center, each of which was then matched to a nongrafted Lancaster CUCLP patient. The matching criteria were age, sex, and sella-nasion distance (to control, at least in part, for size differences). Lateral cephalometric radiographs of these 86 CUCLP patients were traced, digitized, and analyzed. Additionally, all linear data were adjusted to a standard magnification of 8% because the cephalograms from each center featured different enlargements. The Chicago and Lancaster samples had mean posttreatment ages of 10.32 years (SD = 1.96) and 10.40 years (SD = 2.18), respectively. The grafted Chicago group had faces that were on average less maxillary protrusive compared with the nongrafted Lancaster sample; it appeared, however, that the mandible compensated for the maxillary position by downward and backward rotation. As a result, a similar maxillomandibular relationship was noted in both groups, although, in the Chicago group, the lower anterior facial height increased.

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