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A Novel Method to Calculate the Volume of Alveolar Cleft Defect Before Surgery

Background: This study aimed to evaluate a novel subtractive method for the precise calculation of alveolar cleft defect volume before surgery using the three-dimensional imaging software Mimics. Methods: Ten patients (3 female, 7 male, age range 8–12 years) with unilateral alveolar cleft were enrolled in the study. Preoperative helical computed tomography scans were performed for all patients. A new subtractive method was introduced to precisely calculate the alveolar cleft defect volume before surgery with the aid of Mimics. The DICOM data of every patient were processed using the subtractive method. Statistical analyses were performed using Pearson's correlation test and t test. Results: The mean volume of the alveolar cleft defect was 1811.97 ± 817.90 mm3. The mean time spent to calculate an alveolar cleft defect volume was 60.60 ± 11.67 minutes. The Pearson correlation test (r = 0.38, P = 0.279) indicated a poor correlation between alveolar cleft defect volume and calculation time. Conclusions: Preoperative knowledge of defect volume is crucial in alveolar cleft repair. Accurate estimation of graft volume in alveolar cleft patients can be performed using this new subtractive method. Compared with previous methods, this new subtractive method is time-saving and suitable for both unilateral and bilateral clefts. Surgeons can use this method to design a surgical plan for each patient before surgery within a short time, and with less cost. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Hai D. Li, MD, Department of Cleft Lip and Palate, Plastic Surgery Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Ba-da-chu, Beijing 100144, China; E-mail: 15910775061@yeah.net Received 2 June, 2017 Accepted 30 August, 2017 This study was supported by the Capital Clinical Feature Applied Research Fund of China (Z161100000516155). The study was approved by the ethics committee of the Plastic Surgery Hospital affiliated to Peking Union Medical College. The authors report no conflicts of interest. Supplemental digital contents are available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (http://ift.tt/2iuFjMi). © 2017 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.

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