Objectives : The correction of the nasal deformity in patients with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP) is challenging and there is no single option for the nasal correction timing and methods to achieve good functional and aesthetic results. Aim of the study was to compare nasal function of patients with UCLP with noncleft controls.
Materials and methods : In this cross-sectional study consecutive patients born from 1994 to 2002 with non-syndromic complete UCLP were included. All patients had treatment in Riga Cleft Lip and Palate Centre. Out of 30 patients, 14 came for control at mean age of 15 years (range 10–18). In control group, 35 noncleft participants at 10 years of age were included. In both groups to assess nasal respiration, active anterior rhinomanometry was performed at least 6 months postoperatively (according to international standards). For statistical analysis Mann–Whitney U test and Wilcoxon signed rank test was used. Statistical significance level of p < 0.05 was chosen.
Results : In patients with UCLP mean value of nasal flow with decongestant in non-cleft side was 343.1 cm 3 /s, and in cleft side 211.3 cm 3 /s at 150 Pa ( p = 0.04). in control group mean value of nasal flow with decongestant in right side was 308.4 cm 3 /s, and in left side 330.4 cm 3 /s at 150 Pa ( p = 0.13). Difference in nasal flow between UCLP patients’ cleft side and either left or right side in noncleft participants was statistically significant ( p = 0.005 and p = 0.010 accordingly).
Conclusions : In control group and in non-cleft side of UCLP patients nasal flow was better than in cleft side. Rhinomanometry could be suggested as routine examination before and after secondary nose corrections.