Three-dimensional nasal changes following nasoalveolar molding in patients with unilateral cleft lip and palate: Geometric morphometrics

G. Dave Singh, Daniel Levy-Bercowski, Pedro E. Santiago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate three-dimensional changes in nasal morphology in patients with unilateral cleft lip and palate treated with presurgical nasoalveolar molding (NAM) to correct naso-labio-alveolar deformity. Design: This was a prospective, longitudinal study. Digital stereophotogrammetry was used to capture three-dimensional facial images, and x, y, and z coordinates of 28 nasal landmarks were digitized. Sample: Ten patients with unilateral cleft lip and palate. Main Outcome Measures: Nasal form changes between T1 (age: 28 ± 2 days, pre-NAM) and T2 (age: 140 ± 2 days, post-NAM), using conventional measurements and finite-element scaling analysis. Results: Overall nasal changes were statistically different (p < .01), but no linear or curvilinear changes were found. Specifically, relative size increases were found on the noncleft side, involving the upper nose (30%), alar depth (20%), alar dome (30%), columella height (30%), and lateral wall of the nostril (17%). On the cleft side, the following showed a size increase: upper nose (8%), alar dome (5%), columella height (30%), and lateral wall of the nostril (30%). The cleft-side alar curvature, however, showed a large decrease in size (80%), but no changes on the noncleft side were found. Corresponding shape changes and angular changes were also found. Conclusions: Using NAM, bilateral nasal symmetry in patients with unilateral cleft lip and palate was improved before surgical repair. Furthermore, slight overcorrection of the alar dome on the cleft side using pressure exerted by the nasal stent is indicated to maintain the NAM result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-409
Number of pages7
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Cleft lip/palate
  • Geometric morphometrics
  • Growth guidance
  • Nasoalveolar molding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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