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To evaluate the pharyngeal airway space changes in complete unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP) and bilateral cleft lip and palate (BCLP) individuals, and compare with age and sex-matched noncleft (NC) control subjects.Retrospective study.Cleft and Craniofacial Centre, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore.Twenty UCLP (mean age: 13.4 ± 0.5 years), 18 BCLP (mean age: 13.5 ± 0.5 years) and 20 skeletal Class I subjects (mean age: 13.4 ± 0.6 years) were included in the study. Cone beam computed tomography scans were assessed for pharyngeal airway space (PAS) (oropharyngeal, nasopharyngeal, total airway space volume), and compared with PAS of age and sex-matched skeletal Class I NC individuals.Pharyngeal airway space showed statistically significant differences in the UCLP, BCLP, and NC control subjects. Oropharyngeal (9338 ± 1108 mm3,P< .05), nasopharyngeal (2911 ± 401 mm3,P< .05), and total airway space (12 250 ± 1185 mm3,P< .05) volumes of BCLP individuals showed significant reduction in comparison to UCLP and NC. There were no gender differences of PAS in any of the groups tested (P> .05).The pharyngeal airway space was significantly reduced in the BCLP group than were those in UCLP and control groups. This reduced PAS should be taken into account when planning treatment for these individuals.