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Int J Otolaryngol. 2012;2012:548698. doi: 10.1155/2012/548698. Epub 2012 Feb 12.

A review of hearing loss in cleft palate patients.

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University of Liverpool, Cedar House, Ashton Street, Liverpool L69 3GE, UK.



Cleft palate is associated with recurrent otitis media with effusion and hearing loss. This study analysed the way these patients' hearing is managed in Alder Hey Children's Hospital.


A retrospective audit was carried out on cleft palate patients in Alder Hey Children's Hospital. Audiology assessment and treatment options were reviewed. Comparisons were made between the use of ventilation tubes (VTs) and hearing aids (HAs). The types of cleft, types of hearing loss, and the management output of the audiology regions were also reviewed.


The audiology assessments of 254 patients were examined. The incidence of VT insertion in this group of patients was 18.9%. The hearing aid incidence rate was 10.1%. The VT-related complication rate was 25.5% and the HA related complication rate was 9.1%.


The data demonstrates that both treatments are viable, and a new protocol which combines the short term benefit of VT insertion with the lower complication rate of HA is required.

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