Journal of
Dentistry and Oral Hygiene

  • Abbreviation: J. Dent. Oral Hyg.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2472
  • DOI: 10.5897/JDOH
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 137

Full Length Research Paper

Medial and lateral canthal distances in unrepaired cleft lip and palate Nigerians

Umweni, A. A.
Department of Preventive Dentistry, School of Dentistry, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 14 February 2011
  •  Published: 30 April 2011


Medial canthal distance (MCD) (inner canthal distance) refers to the distance between the two medial canthal of the eyes, while lateral canthal distance (LCD) (outer canthal distance) is the distance between the two laterals canthal of the eye. Accurate measurements of these distances are necessary for the diagnosis of true ocular hypertelorism and a guide in both reconstructive surgery and orthodontic treatment. The study was carried out on unrepaired cleft lip and palate (CLAP) patients, who presented for surgical repair at NOMA children hospital Sokoto, Nigeria before surgery. Results of the measurements were compared with previously documented normal values in the Nigerian population of the same age group. The result of the study shows that medial and LCDs in CLAP patients was higher than normal population (P < 0.01). When comparing type of clefts, MCD was highest in unilateral cleft lip. Medial and lateral distances in isolated cleft palate were comparable to normal values which are in agreement with previous studies. Although medial and lateral canthal measurements are less accurate than inter – orbital measurements which are from radiograph and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), however they are simple to use for standard clinical workups. This study suggests a tendency to true ocular hypertelorism in CLAP patients and not isolated cleft palate which is relevant in the surgical and orthodontic management of these patients.

Key words: Canthal distances, cleft lip, palate.