Cleft lip & palate

It is a common finding in the newborn period, often signifying other underlying pathology.  Cleft lips occur in 1 in 750 white births (males > females 2:1) and cleft palates alone occur in 1 in 2500 births (females > males 2:1).

 The different classes are:

Group I: cleft lip only
Group II: cleft palate only
Group III: cleft lip, alveolus, and palate
Group IV: clefts of lip and alveolus

Clefts can occur due to:

Some syndromes associated with clefts are:

Complications Cleft Lip & Palate


*bifid uvula is associated with submucous cleft palate -> characterized by a U-shaped notch, palpable in the midline, at the juncture of the hard and soft portions of the palate. These children may not have overt feeding difficulty, but are prone to eustachian tube dysfunction and recurrent middle ear disease.  speech is often mildly hypernasal. Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy may be contraindicated in these patients because removal of the adenoids can result in severe speech and swallowing dysfunction."

CHLA Chief Resident Pearl Feb 2005
CHLA Board Review 2005
Zitelli and Davis. 3rd edition.