Structural Abnormalities of the Central Auditory Pathway in Infants With Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip and/or Palate

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Objective:To investigate possible structural abnormalities of the central auditory pathway in infants with nonsyndromic cleft lip and/or palate (NSCL/P).Participants:Twenty-seven Chinese infants with NSCL/P, aged from 6 to 24 months.Intervention:Morphological magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of the central auditory nervous system (CANS) in infants with NSCL/P were analyzed and compared with those of age- and sex-matched normal controls.Results:No significant group differences were found in general brain measurements, including volumes of the brain stem and right hemisphere. However, infants with NSCL/P had statistically significantly smaller volumes of the left thalamus and left auditory cortex and notably decreased thickness of the left auditory cortex.Conclusion:Cortical abnormalities were more marked compared with other MRI measurements. Structural CANS abnormalities in infants with NSCL/P may be located mainly in the left cerebral hemisphere. The development and maturation of the auditory cortex in infants with NSCL/P may be abnormal when compared with those of normal children.

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