Objective: Some patients with cleft palate (CP) need secondary surgery to improve functionality. Although 4-dimensional assessment of velopharyngeal closure function (VPF) in patients with CP using computed tomography (CT) has been existed, the knowledge about quantitative evaluation and radiation exposure dose is limited. We performed a qualitative and quantitative assessment of VPF using CT and estimated the exposure doses. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Computed tomography images from 5 preoperative patients with submucous CP (SMCP) and 10 postoperative patients with a history of CP (8 boys and 7 girls, aged 4-7 years) were evaluated. Patients: Five patients had undergone primary surgery for SMCP; 10 received secondary surgery for hypernasality. Main Outcome Measures: The presence of velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI), patterns of velopharyngeal closure (VPC), and cross-sectional area (CSA) of VPI was evaluated via CT findings. Organ-absorbed radiation doses were estimated in 5 of 15 patients. The differences between cleft type and VPI, VPC patterns, and CSA of VPI were evaluated. Results: All patients had VPI. The VPC patterns (SMCP/CP) were evaluated as coronal (1/4), sagittal (0/1), circular (1/2), and circular with Passavant’s ridge (2/2); 2 patients (1/1) were unevaluable because of poor VPF. The CSA of VPI was statistically larger in the SMCP group (P =.0027). The organ-absorbed radiation doses were relatively lower than those previously reported. Conclusions: Four-dimensional CT can provide the detailed findings of VPF that are not possible with conventional CT, and the exposure dose was considered medically acceptable.
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