A multicenter outcomes assessment of five-year-old patients with unilateral cleft lip and palate

Wanda Flinn, Ross E. Long, Giovanna Garattini, Gunvor Semb

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    Objective: Compare 5-year-old dental arch relationships of patients from three centers with differing primary protocols. Design: Retrospective study of treatment outcomes using blinded evaluation of dental study casts. Setting: Three major cleft-craniofacial centers; one (center A) is a free-standing institution, and two (centers B and C) are university hospitals. Patients: 118 (A = 41; B = 33; C = 44) consecutively treated 5-year-old patients with complete, nonsyndromic unilateral cleft lip and palate. Interventions: Centers A and C completed primary repair without presurgical orthopedics by 18 months (center A in three surgeries and center C in two surgeries). Center B used passive presurgical orthopedics with lip/soft palate repair at 6 months and gingivo-alveoloplasty/hard palate repair at 18 to 36 months. Main Outcome Measure: Averaged ratings of dental casts using the 5-year yardstick were computed for each patient. The Wilcoxon two-sample test was used to compare means; a chi-square test was used to compare distributions. Results: Intra- and interexaminer reliability tests showed excellent reliability (>.90). Mean scores were not significantly different. Distribution of scores differed significantly. Center A had the highest percentage of good scores and the lowest percentage of poor scores (72% versus 6.5%), followed by center B (63% versus 6.6%) and center C (59% versus 16.3%). Conclusions: Centers A and B had comparable scores and completely different protocols in surgical technique, timing, sequencing, and nonuse/use of appliances. Center C's results were slightly lower than those of 1 and 3, but the center had the protocol with the least burden of treatment (only two surgeries, without use of appliances).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)253-258
    Number of pages5
    JournalCleft Palate-craniofacial Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2006


    • 5-year yardstick
    • Dental casts
    • Intercenter
    • Outcomes


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