MALNUTRITION IN CHILDREN WITH UNREPAIRED OROFACIAL CLEFT: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
Background: The anatomical defect of the oral cavity in children with orofacial clefts presents them with feeding challenges which increase their risk of becoming malnourished. The objective of this review was to investigate the extent of malnutrition among children under 5 years with unrepaired cleft of the lip and/ or palate.
Materials and Methods: A systematic literature search of published articles that assessed malnutrition in children with unrepaired cleft lip and/or palate was conducted. Pubmed Central, Cochrane library, Pubmed (MEDLINE) and Google Scholar databases were searched.
Result: A total of 4,489 papers were found of which 8 were included in the review after meeting the inclusion criteria. Malnutrition was found to be higher in isolated cleft palate and cleft lip and palate infants than in isolated cleft lip infants who had nutritional status close to that of non-cleft infants. Syndromic cleft infants were highly malnourished compared to non-syndromic infants. Weight-for-age was the most assessed anthropometric indicator of nutritional status. Average prevalence of underweight (low weight-for-age) was 21.5%.
Conclusion: Malnutrition is high especially within the first year of life in infants with unrepaired cleft lip and/or palate.
Keywords: Cleft lip and palate, malnutrition, growth impairment, failure to thrive