Reduced Morbidity and Improved Healing with Bone Morphogenic Protein-2 in Older Patients with Alveolar Cleft Defects

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Background:In older cleft patients, alveolar bone grafting may be associated with poor wound healing, graft exposure, recurrent fistula, and failure of tooth eruption. A new procedure using a resorbable collagen matrix with bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2 was compared with traditional iliac crest bone graft to close alveolar defects in older patients.Methods:Skeletally mature patients with an alveolar cleft defect undergoing alveolar cleft repair were divided into either group 1 (BMP-2, experimental) or group 2 (traditional iliac graft, control) (n = 21). Bone healing was assessed with intraoral examination and NewTom scans (three-dimensional, Panorex, periapical films). Donor-site morbidity was determined with pain surveys. Overall cost and length of hospital stay were used to examine economic differences.Results:Preoperative and follow-up (1 year) intraoral examinations revealed fewer complications (11 percent versus 50 percent) and better estimated bone graft take in group 1 compared with group 2. Panorex and three-dimensional computed tomographic scans showed enhanced mineralization in group 1 compared with group 2. Volumetric analysis showed group 1 had a larger percentage alveolar defect filled with new bone (95 percent) compared with group 2 (63 percent). Donor-site pain intensity and frequency were significant in group 2 but not group 1. The mean length of stay was greater for group 2 compared with group 1. In addition, the mean overall cost of the procedure was greater in group 2 ($21,800) compared with group 1 ($11,100).Conclusions:For this select group of late-presenting alveolar cleft patients, the BMP-2 procedure resulted in improved bone healing and reduced morbidity compared with traditional iliac bone grafting.

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