Objective: To evaluate the effect of infant orthopedics (IO) on facial appearance of 54 patients with unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP), aged 4 and 6 years. Design: Prospective two-arm randomized controlled clinical trial in three Cleft Palate Centers in the Netherlands (Dutchcleft-trial). Interventions: Patients were divided randomly into two groups. Half of the patients (IO+) had a plate until surgical closure of the soft palate at the age of ± 52 weeks; the other half (IO-) received no intervention. Main outcome measures: Facial appearance at 4 and 6 years of age assessed on full face photographs and photographs showing only nose and mouth. Ratings were performed on a VAS-scale by professionals and laymen. Results: At 4 years of age the full face pictures of IO+ children were scored to be more attractive than those of IO- children. However, this difference had disappeared at 6 years of age. At the age of 6, only professionals saw a significant difference on nasolabial photographs between IO+ and IO-. Regression analysis showed a minor effect of occlusion, lip revision, or type of nose reconstruction on the esthetic results. Conclusions: IO had a positive effect on full facial appearance of UCLP children at the age of 4 years, but at the age of 6, only professionals saw a positive effect of IO on the nasolabial photographs. This is irrelevant for UCLP patients since they deal with laymen in their daily life.

Cleft palate, Esthetics, Infant orthopedics, Multicenter, Randomized clinical trial, Treatment outcome
dx.doi.org/10.1597/07-043.1, hdl.handle.net/1765/32364
Cleft Palate - Craniofacial Journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bongaarts, C.A.M, Prahl-Andersen, B, Bronkhorst, E.M, Spauwen, P.H.M, Mulder, J.W, Vaandrager, J.M, & Kuijpers-Jagtman, A.M. (2008). Effect of infant orthopedics on facial appearance of toddlers with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate (Dutchcleft). Cleft Palate - Craniofacial Journal, 45(4), 407–413. doi:10.1597/07-043.1