OBJECTIVES To demonstrate a standardized approach for the evaluation of cleft lip and palate by three-dimensional (3D) ultrasonography. DESIGN This was a retrospective study of seven fetuses with confirmed facial cleft anomalies. Post-natal findings were compared to a blinded review of 3D volume data from abnormal fetuses with seven other normal fetuses that were matched for gestational age. Upper lip integrity was examined by 3D multiplanar imaging. Sequential axial views were used to evaluate the maxillary tooth-bearing alveolar ridge contour and anterior tooth socket alignment. Alveolar ridge disruption suggested cleft palate. Premaxillary protrusion, either by multiplanar imaging or surface rendering, indicated bilateral cleft lip and palate. RESULTS Post-natal findings confirmed bilateral cleft lip and palate (four cases), unilateral cleft lip and palate (one case), and unilateral cleft lip (two cases). Multiplanar review identified all three fetuses with unilateral cleft lip, three of four fetuses with bilateral cleft lip, one fetus with unilateral cleft palate, and three of four fetuses with bilateral cleft palate. Surface rendering correctly identified all cleft lips, with the exception of one fetus, who was thought to have a unilateral cleft lip and palate, despite the actual presence of a bilateral lesion. One cleft palate defect was directly visualized by 3D surface rendering. No false-positives occurred. CONCLUSION Interactive review of standardized 3D multiplanar images allows one to evaluate labial defects, abnormalities of the maxillary tooth-bearing alveolar ridge, and presence of premaxillary protrusion for detecting cleft lip and palate anomalies. Surface rendering may increase diagnostic confidence for normal or abnormal studies. This technology provides an array of visualization tools that may improve the prenatal characterization of facial clefts, particularly of the palate.