Antenatal Ultrasound Detection of Cleft in Western Australia from 2003 to 2012: A Follow-Up Study

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Aim:To investigate trends in the rate of antenatal detection of cleft lip and palate (CLP) patients referred to the CLP Unit at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children in Perth, Western Australia during the period 2003-2012 and compare data with a previously published report covering the years 1996-2003.Methods:This is a single-center, retrospective survey of antenatal transabdominal ultrasound screenings of mothers of infants born between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2012 that were referred to the CLP Unit at Princess Margaret Hospital.Results:Detection rates of oral clefts increased significantly when compared with outcomes reported in the same population between 1996 and 2003 (P< .05). An overall detection rate of 71.7% (165/230) was achieved for clefts involving lip and palate. Detection of isolated cleft palate (1/99) and microform (0/8) remained elusive. Most detections (76.5%) were achieved at 15 to 20 weeks of gestational age, corresponding with routine anatomical screening. A further 16.8% were detected post-20 weeks of gestation. Scans were performed by specialist obstetricians, and sonography clinics reported a detection rate of 84.6% (55/65), whereas nonspecialist clinics reported a detection rate of only 67.1% (110/164).Conclusion:The antenatal detection rates of oral clefts involving the lip have improved to the extent that the majority of mothers are now being referred to a cleft unit in Western Australia prior to the births of their children. As a result of this improvement, antenatal counseling is now a common facet of cleft management.

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