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Cortisol levels and sleep patterns in infants with orofacial clefts undergoing surgery

Authors Mueller AA, Kalak N, Schwenzer-Zimmerer K, Holsboer-Trachsler E, Brand S

Received 26 July 2014

Accepted for publication 12 August 2014

Published 15 October 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 1965—1972

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S71785

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Andreas A Mueller,1,2 Nadeem Kalak,3 Katja Schwenzer-Zimmerer,1,2 Edith Holsboer-Trachsler,3 Serge Brand3,4

1Craniomaxillofacial Surgery, University of Basel and University Hospital of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; 2Hightech Research Center of Craniomaxillofacial Surgery, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; 3Psychiatric Clinics of the University of Basel, Center for Affective, Stress, and Sleep Disorders, Basel, Switzerland; 4Department of Sport and Health Science, Division of Sport Science, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Background: Traumatic events during early infancy might damage infants’ psychobiological functioning, such as sleep and cortisol secretion. Infants born with orofacial clefts (OFCs) undergo functional, anatomical, and aesthetic surgery. The aim of the present study was to determine whether infants with OFC and undergoing OFC surgery show deteriorated sleep and cortisol secretion compared with healthy controls and with their presurgery status.
Methods: A total of 27 infants with OFC (mean age: 22 weeks) and 30 healthy controls (mean age: 23 weeks) took part in the study. For infants with OFC, sleep actigraphy was performed and saliva cortisol was analyzed 5 days before, during, and 5 days after surgery. For controls, sleep and saliva cortisol were assessed similarly, except for the period taken up with surgery.
Results: Compared with healthy controls, infants with OFC undergoing OFC surgery did not differ in sleep and cortisol secretion. Their sleep and cortisol secretion did deteriorate during the perisurgical period but recovered 5 days postsurgery.
Conclusion: In infants with OFC undergoing corrective surgery, the pattern of results for sleep and cortisol suggests that OFC surgery does not seem to constitute a traumatic event with long-term consequences.

Keywords: cortisol, sleep, orofacial cleft, surgery, infants

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