Speech outcomes at 5 and 10 years of age after one-stage palatal repair with muscle reconstruction in children born with isolated cleft palate.

Abstract

BACKGROUND The aim of this study was to investigate speech outcomes in children with clefts in the hard and/or soft palate only (CPH/CPS), in order to determine the prevalence of cleft speech characteristics, the change between 5 and 10 years of age, and the difference in occurrence between CPH and CPS. METHODS A consecutive series of 88 children born with CPH or CPS were included in a retrospective cohort. All participants were treated with one-stage palatal repair using a minimal incision technique with muscle reconstruction (mean age 13 months). Twelve children (14%) received a velopharyngeal flap. Cleft speech variables were rated at 5 and 10 years of age independently by three experienced external speech-language pathologists. Inter- and intra-rater agreements were determined, and the prevalence of cleft speech characteristics was calculated. RESULTS Moderate-to-severe hypernasality and weak pressure consonants were present in 5%-10% of the children at 5 years, with marginal but statistically significant improvement at 10 years of age. Frequently or always occurring audible nasal air leakage was detected in 20% of children at age 5, and increased to ∼35% of the children at 10 years. Ten per cent had compensatory articulation at age 5, and 25% demonstrated s-distortions, whereas few had these problems at age 10. CONCLUSIONS The results demonstrate low occurrence of compensatory articulation problems in this cohort, even by 5 years of age. The high presence of symptoms of velopharyngeal insufficiency at 10 years of age suggests a need for additional secondary velopharyngeal surgery.

DOI: 10.1080/2000656X.2017.1316282

Cite this paper

@article{Nyberg2017SpeechOA, title={Speech outcomes at 5 and 10 years of age after one-stage palatal repair with muscle reconstruction in children born with isolated cleft palate.}, author={Jill Nyberg and Erik B Neovius and Anette Lohmander}, journal={Journal of plastic surgery and hand surgery}, year={2017}, pages={1-10} }