Nonsyndromic cleft lip and palate (NSCLP) encompasses a group of orofacial abnormalities. Emerging evidence has revealed the presence of structural brain abnormalities in affected individuals. Previous studies have performed structurebased volumetric analysis of the brain assessing gross lobular subdivisions of the cerebral cortex and white matter which may have only vague relationships to the functional subregions implicated in behavioral and cognitive deficits observed in NSCLP patients. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging structural data were acquired to provide a detailed characterization of the brain with respect to both regional cortical volume and thickness in 26 children with NSCLP and 26 age- and demographically matched typically developing children. Children with NSCLP exhibited abnormally large cerebral cortex grey matter volumes with decreased volumes of subcortical grey matter and cerebral white matter structures. Hemisphere-specific patterns of cortical volume and thickness abnormalities were identified. This study is the first to examine cortical thickness abnormalities in NSCLP. Overall, these findings suggest that the brains of children with NSCLP are less mature than those of their age-matched peers. Gender-specific comparisons reveal that NSCLP females were more immature compared to their typically developing peers compared to NSCLP males.
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Nonsyndromic cleft lip and palate