Prevalence of Rare Craniofacial Clefts

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Craniofacial clefts are extremely rare congenital malformations that have adverse functional, psychosocial, and aesthetic effects on patients’ life. Although the exact incidence is unclear, it is estimated between 1.4 and 4.9 per 100,000 live births. Prevalence of the rare craniofacial clefts is imprecise due to the paucity of literature as well as their etiologies.


All the patients with rare craniofacial clefts during 10 years in a plastic surgery tertiary referral hospital were included, and Tessier craniofacial clefting classification was used for classifying the clefts.


Of 964 patients with craniofacial clefts, 80 (8.29%) patients were identified with rare craniofacial clefts. There were 39 (48.7%) males and 41 (51.3%) females. Family history was determined positive in 30 (37.5%) patients. Tessier number 0 (58.7%) was the most common cleft in the authors’ study. Tessier numbers 8, 13, and 30 were the rarest clefts. There was no patient with Clefts numbers 5, 6, or 9. Maternal smoking during pregnancy was observed in 1 (1.3%) of the women and 3 of the women had used drugs, 1 of them used the dexamethasone tablets and 2 of them could not remember name of the used drug.


Tessier number 0 was the most common cleft and Tessier numbers 8, 13, and 30 were the rarest types. The precise etiology of rare craniofacial clefts remained undetermined in this study. Women should be educated about the risk factors and subsequent ways of preventing from these risk factors.

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