An increasing number of pregnancies are presumed being terminated following prenatal detection of orofacial cleft during structural ultrasound.
After examining the data and literature on this topic it is concluded that the reported cases are merely incidents.
For the interpretation of prenatal detection rates a distinction should be made between isolated orofacial cleft and the frequently occurring associated form of orofacial cleft which is usually characterized by other, often major structural or chromosome anomalies. The ultrasound detection rate of the isolated form is low and varies in the literature between 18 and 56%.
Together with all Dutch centres of prenatal medicine a care plan was adopted for the management of prenatally detected orofacial cleft including diagnosis (detailed ultrasound examination and karyotyping), medical support (genetic consultations, plastic surgery and psychosocial counselling) and treatment (obstetric and neonatal management). In the presence of associated major congenital anomalies termination of pregnancy may be considered before the 24th week of pregnancy.