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Body height, Cleft lip, Cleft palate, Growth, Growth disorders



  1. Lipman, Terri H. PhD, CRNP
  2. Rezvani, Iraj MD
  3. Mitra, Amit MD
  4. Mastropieri, Cynthia J. MSN, RN, CCRN


Purpose: To assess stature in children with orofacial clefting to determine whether this population is at risk for short stature and if growth failure is caused by hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction or if it is related to age, sex, or type of cleft.


Design: Cross-sectional.


Methods: All children 3 to 12 years old with nonsyndromic orofacial clefts who were evaluated as outpatients were measured; those who demonstrated growth failure were to have an evaluation of their hypothalamic-pituitary function. Data were also collected on sex, age, and type of cleft.


Results: Children with orofacial clefting had significantly more growth failure than the general population (p < 0.005). The parents of four of the five children with growth failure refused further evaluation because "no one else was ever concerned about my child's height."


Clinical Implications: The high rate of growth failure in this population emphasizes the need for precise growth assessment of children with orofacial clefting. Growth failure should not be ignored or minimized in populations of children having other significant health care problems.