Pregnancy with Facial Cleft: 20 Years of Experience at a Single Center

pekar Zlotin Marina, Zilberman Sharon Natali, Melcer Yaakov, tal Bliman Yael, Ezratty Jodi, feingold Zadok Michal, Svirsky Ran, Maymon Ron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Fetal facial clefts are among the most common congenital anomalies detected prenatally. This finding may lead to termination of pregnancy in some cases. Objectives: To compare a cohort of fetuses with facial clefts in which the pregnancy was terminated to the cohort of cases that were born with facial clefts. To investigate risk factors for facial clefts.Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all women with prenatal and postnatal diagnosis of facial cleft that were managed in our institute. A telephone questionnaire was conducted regarding a positive family history and/or genetic predisposition for facial clefts abnormalities. Results: The final cohort consisted of two group. One group included 54 cases of termination of pregnancy (TOP) that were performed due to cleft lip (CL) or cleft palate (CLP); 27 women answered the telephone questionnaire. The second group comprised 99 women who delivered children with facial cleft during the same period; 60 answered the questionnaire. Only seven cases were diagnosed prenatal. Among the two groups, no correlation to family history was discovered. Of note, there was one case of three consecutive fetuses with CL in one woman, without any significant genetic findings. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to describe an anatomical malformation posing an ethical dilemma before TOP. Primary prevention with folic acid and early sonographic detection of CL/CLP with multidisciplinary consultation should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-682
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • cleft lip (CL)
  • cleft palate (CLP)
  • congenital malformation
  • termination of pregnancy (TOP)


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