Orofacial Manifestations of Stickler Syndrome: An Analysis of Speech Outcome and Facial Growth After Cleft Palate Repair.

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DOI: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000002114


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to characterize airway problems, speech outcomes, and facial growth in patients with Stickler syndrome undergoing cleft palate repair.

METHODS: A retrospective, longitudinal study was performed at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on 25 patients with Stickler syndrome and 53 nonsyndromic patients with clefts of the secondary palate repaired between 1977 and 2000. Airway problems were characterized by the incidence of Pierre Robin Sequence (PRS) and the necessity for surgical airway management. Speech was analyzed using the Pittsburgh weighted values for speech symptoms associated with velopharyngeal incompetence (VPI). Longitudinal anthropometric measurements represented up to 12 years of longitudinal cephalofacial growth.

RESULTS: Seventy-two percent of patients with Stickler syndrome were diagnosed with PRS, 55.6% of whom required surgical airway management. Conversely, 20.8% of nonsyndromic patients were diagnosed with PRS (P < 0.0001), 18% of whom required surgical intervention (P < 0.05). Speech outcomes were poorer in patients with Stickler syndrome with 40% demonstrating borderline VPI and 13.3% demonstrating VPI, compared with 21.8% and 9.1%, respectively, in the nonsyndromic group. Both groups exhibited significantly shallower upper and mid facial depths and wider upper facial breadths when compared with normal standards of facial growth. Although there was a tendency toward decreased facial depths in patients with Stickler syndrome relative to nonsyndromic patients, the differences were nonsignificant.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with Stickler syndrome show significant potential for early airway compromise and a poorer prognosis for speech outcome after cleft palate repair. Their cephalofacial growth does not differ significantly from that of nonsyndromic cleft palate patients.

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Annals of plastic surgery





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