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Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2005 Mar;42(2):192-6.

Bilateral asymmetry in Chinese families with cleft lip with or without cleft palate.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Division of Oral Biology, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219, USA.



To determine if Chinese individuals with nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL/P) display more bilateral asymmetry than do their unaffected relatives.


A case-control study of 313 individuals with CL/P from Shanghai, China, with 201 unaffected relatives as controls.


Size-adjusted asymmetry scores were defined by data on middle-finger length, palm length, palpebral fissure width, and ear length. Case-control comparisons used a multivariate repeated measures analysis of variance, paired t tests, and the Wilcoxon signed rank test.


The ear-length measure showed a significant increase in fluctuating asymmetry (FA) in individuals with CL/P compared with their unaffected relatives, which was most pronounced in the female cleft lip and palate subgroup (p = .04). No other measures showed any increase in FA.


Evidence was found for increased FA, as measured by overall ear length, in Chinese individuals with nonsyndromic CL/P, compared with their unaffected family members. The use of bilateral measurements other than dermatoglyphics may prove to be a valuable means of assessing overall developmental stability in individuals with developmental malformations and in their families.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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