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

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To investigate possible structural abnormalities of the central auditory pathway in infants with nonsyndromic cleft lip and/or palate (NSCL/P).


Twenty-seven Chinese infants with NSCL/P, aged from 6 to 24 months.


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.


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.


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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