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Ann Plast Surg. 2008 Feb;60(2):188-93. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e318052c6f2.

The effect of cleft palate repair on contractile properties of single permeabilized muscle fibers from congenitally cleft goat palates.

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Institute of Gerontology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2200, USA.


Inherent differences in the levator veli palatini (LVP) muscle of cleft palates before palatoplasty may play a role in persistent postrepair velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI). Contractile properties of LVP muscle fibers were analyzed from young (2-month) normal (YNP), young congenitally cleft (YCP) and again on the same YCP subjects 6 months after palatoplasty, mature repaired palate (MRP). The cross-sectional area and rate of force development (ktr) were measured. Specific force (sF(0)) and normalized power (nP(max)) were calculated. Using k(tr) to determine fiber type composition, YNP was 44% type 1 and 56% type 2, while YCP was 100% type 2. Two MRP subjects shifted to 100% type 1; 1 demonstrated increased resistance to fatigue. No differences in sF(0) were observed. nP(max) increased with presence of type 2 fibers. The persistent state of type 2 fibers following palatoplasty leads to increased fatigue in the LVP of MRP subjects and may cause VPI symptoms.

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