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Clin Plast Surg. 2014 Apr;41(2):149-63. doi: 10.1016/j.cps.2013.12.003.

Classification, epidemiology, and genetics of orofacial clefts.

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Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1700 Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. Electronic address:
Birth Defects Monitoring Program, Division of Public Health, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, State Center for Health Statistics, 222 North Dawson Street, Cotton Building, Raleigh, NC 27603, USA.
UNC Center for AIDS Research, UNC School of Dentistry, UNC School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 104 South Building, CB# 3000, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3000, USA.
Departments of Pediatrics and Genetics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB# 7487, UNC Campus, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7487, USA.


Orofacial clefts (OFCs) include a broad range of facial conditions that differ in cause and disease burden. In the published literature, there is substantial ambiguity in both terminology and classification of OFCs. This article discusses the terminology and classification of OFCs and the epidemiology of OFCs. Demographic, environmental, and genetic risk factors for OFCs are described, including suggestions for family counseling. This article enables clinicians to counsel families regarding the occurrence and recurrence of OFCs. Although much of the information is detailed, it is intended to be accessible to all health professionals for use in their clinical practices.


Classification; Epidemiology; Genetics; Orofacial clefts

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