Occult and overt submucous cleft palate: from peroral examination to nasendoscopy and back again

Yehuda Finkelstein*, Daniel J. Hauben, Yoav P. Talmi, Ariela Nachmani, Yuval Zohar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Peroral examination of the soft palate is of greater value than generally recognized. The nasendoscopic examination provides essential information on the velopharyngeal valve physiology and pathology. However, nasendoscopy cannot be performed in individuals who are uncooperative such as young children, patients with personality disturbances or those mentally retarded, or in the presence of severe deformity of the nose. In these patients the peroral examination is of particular practical clinical application. Forty cases of occult and overt submucous cleft palate were included in the present study. We describe the contribution of systematic assessment of the soft palate intraorally, based on a correlation with nasendoscopic examination of the velopharyngeal valve in speech. An accurate peroral examination can provide additional information on abnormality of the velar musculature as well as the existence of Passavant's ridge. This information is particularly important in children who are too young for nasendoscopix examination, but because of their poor speech intelligibility, early diagnosis and treatment are imperative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1992


  • Cleft palate
  • Nasendoscopy
  • Passavant's ridge
  • Shutter sign
  • Uvula
  • Velopharyngeal insufficiency


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