Hong Kong Med J 2012;18:146-52 | Number 2, April 2012
Prenatal diagnosis and assessment of facial clefts: where are we now?
William WK To
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, United Christian Hospital, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Orofacial clefts are one of the most common non-syndromic congenital structural abnormalities. Prenatal diagnosis of such defects has traditionally been made by ultrasound examination. With the advent of routine second-trimester ultrasound screening for morphological abnormalities in the recent two decades, the prenatal detection rate of such abnormalities has progressively increased. While conventionally, two-dimensional scanning has been used for screening of lip clefts, the development of three-dimensional ultrasound scanning technology has allowed more easy visualisation of the defects, as well as more accurate evaluation of palatal clefts. Various three-dimensional scanning techniques to assess such defects have been advocated in the recent 5 to 6 years, but as yet there is no consensus as to the most effective and practical methods. As fetal magnetic resonance imaging gradually becomes an accessible modality of imaging in modern obstetrics, it is likely to become an additional tool to assess these defects.
Key words: Cleft lip; Cleft palate; Karyotyping; Pregnancy; Ultrasonography, prenatal
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