Pediatric Cleft Lip and Palate Workup

Updated: Feb 01, 2018
  • Author: Marie M Tolarova, MD, PhD, DSc; Chief Editor: Ravindhra G Elluru, MD, PhD  more...
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Cleft lip (CL) can be easily diagnosed by performing ultrasonography in the second trimester of pregnancy when the position of the fetal face is located correctly (see the images below). [42]

Bilateral cleft lip on ultrasound. Bilateral cleft lip on ultrasound.
Median cleft lip on ultrasound. Median cleft lip on ultrasound.

Usually, diagnosing a cleft palate (CP) with ultrasonography is not possible; however, an experienced physician or technician may catch an atypical movement of the fetal tongue in a lateral view. In the case of a large CP, the tongue moves up into an open space (cleft) in the roof of the oral cavity. Three-dimensional imaging has been introduced to antenatal ultrasonography for diagnosis of cleft anomalies and appears to be promising for recognizing a CP in a fetus.