Craniofacial Cephalometric Morphology and Later Need for Orthognathic Surgery in 6-Year-Old Children With Bilateral Cleft Lip And Palate

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Six-year-old children with bilateral cleft lip and palate (BCLP) were examined to evaluate the need for orthognathic surgery later in life and to cephalometrically compare the craniofacial morphology of those needing orthognathic surgery with those not needing surgery.


Retrospective longitudinal study.


Thirty-eight consecutive nonsyndromic patients with BCLP (29 boys).

Main Outcome Measures:

Children with BCLP were analyzed from lateral cephalograms taken at a mean age of 6.1 years (range 5.8 to 6.6 years). The need for orthognathic surgery in these patients was determined from hospital records at the mean age of 18.2 years (range 15.5 to 20.2 years). Student'sttest and chi-square test were used in statistical analysis.


The overall frequency of maxillary or bimaxillary osteotomy was 66% (25 of 38). The patients needing maxillary or bimaxillary osteotomies had flatter soft tissue profiles (n-sn-gn), shorter lower facial heights (ANS-ME), and smaller mean values of the ANB angle (sagittal maxillomandibular relationship) at the age of 6 years than those who did not. ANB angle was the most significant predictor for later osteotomy. Despite individual variation, all children (n = 13) whose ANB angle was less than 7°, needed later orthognathic surgery; whereas, none of those whose ANB angle was greater than 12.5° (n = 6) needed maxillary osteotomies.


Two thirds of children with BCLP needed orthognathic surgery later in life. Half of the children who needed later osteotomies could be identified at the age of 6 years by having an ANB angle less than 7°.

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