Anatomical Studies Anthropometry of the External Ear in Children With Cleft Lip and Palate in Comparison to Age-Matched Controls

Nirmal Nathan, Kerry Latham, Jason Cooper, Chad Perlyn, Itai Gozlan, Seth R. Thaller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Comprehensive anthropometric measures in children with cleft lip (CL) and cleft palate (CP) have suggested that similar qualitative growth disturbances may be present in the auricle. We propose a study to evaluate and better understand auricular development in nonsyndromic children born with CL/CP. Our institution is a tertiary referral center for children with craniofacial anomalies. During a 4-year period, we randomly selected 50 nonsyndromic children, aged 5 to 18 years, with CL or CP. Fifty age-matched control children without craniofacial anomalies were selected as a control group. Anthropometric measurement analysis was conducted to compare auricular length (sa-sba), width (pra-pa), attachment to the cranium (obs-obi), and degree protrusion. Auricular index was also calculated for each group. Using a multivariate analysis of variance, statistical analysis with a P G 0.001 demonstrates group differences when comparing ear length and ear protrusion in nonsyndromic children with CL/CP to age-matched controls. Ear length was greater in the control group, whereas ear protrusion (distance from the mastoid process to helical rim) was found to be decreased in the experimental group. Age and sex did not demonstrate significant differences in ear protrusion or length between the control and experimental groups. In nonsyndromic children with CL/CP, greater sensitivity should be given to the timing From the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, and 1Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida; 2Division of Plastic Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; 4Division of Plastic Surgery, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri; and kDivision of Plastic Surgery, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Seth R. Thaller, MD, DMD, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, 1611 NW 12th Ave ET3019, Miami, FL 33101; E-mail: of auricular surgery. Comparisons of age-matched auricular measurements suggest that ear development may be altered in children with CL or CP. Further research is needed to investigate anthropological differences between nonsyndromic children with cleft and the normal population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1395
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthropometrics
  • Anthropometry
  • Auricle
  • Cleft lip
  • Cleft palate
  • Ear


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