Bifid uvula is often regarded as a marker for submucous cleft palate although this relationship has not been fully confirmed. The reason for the tacitly assumed connection between these two anomalies has, in part, been perpetuated by the generally accepted definition of submucous cleft palate as the triad of bifid uvula, notching of the hard palate, and muscular diastasis of the soft palate. Recently, investigations have provided evidence of more subtle manifestations of submucous cleft palate by the use of nasopharyngoscopic examination of the palate and pharynx. It has been determined that submucous cleft palate can occur even when a peroral examination shows an intact uvula. This finding places the "marker" relationship in question. In order to determine the frequency of association between bifid uvula and submucous clefting, a total ascertainment of children with bifid uvula from a suburban pediatric practice was examined nasopharyngoscopically. It was determined that in all but two cases, children with bifid uvula had some or all of the landmarks of submucous cleft palate. Several of the children were found to have velopharyngeal insufficiency and mildly hypernasal speech. This finding prompts caution in the recommendation of adenoidectomy in the presence of bifid uvula.
- Accepted May 9, 1984.
- Copyright © 1985 by the American Academy of Pediatrics