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Hypertrophic scarring in cleft lip repair: a comparison of incidence among ethnic groups

Authors Soltani, Francis C, Motamed, Karatsonyi AL, Hammoudeh, Sanchez-Lara, Reinisch, Urata

Received 22 February 2012

Accepted for publication 26 April 2012

Published 26 July 2012 Volume 2012:4(1) Pages 187—191


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Ali M Soltani, Cameron S Francis, Arash Motamed, Ashley L Karatsonyi, Jeffrey A Hammoudeh, Pedro A Sanchez-Lara, John F Reinisch, Mark M Urata

Division of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, CA, USA; The Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Background: Although hypertrophic scar (HTS) formation following cleft lip repair is relatively common, published rates vary widely, from 1% to nearly 50%. The risk factors associated with HTS formation in cleft patients are not well characterized. The primary aim of this retrospective study of 180 cleft lip repairs is to evaluate the frequency of postoperative HTS among various ethnic groups following cleft lip repair.
Methods: A retrospective chart view of patients undergoing primary cleft lip repair over a 16-year period (1990–2005) by the senior surgeon was performed. The primary outcome was the presence of HTS at 1 year postoperatively. Bivariate analysis and multivariable logistic regression were used to evaluate potential risk factors for HTS, including ethnicity, type and laterality of cleft, and gender.
Results: One hundred and eighty patients who underwent cleft lip repair were included in the study. The overall rate of postoperative HTS formation was 25%. Ethnicity alone was found to be an independent predictor of HTS formation. Caucasian patients had the lowest rate of HTS formation (11.8%) and were used as the reference group. HTS rates were significantly higher in the other ethnicities, 32.2% in Hispanic patients (odds ratio [OR]: 3.51; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.53–8.85), and 36.3% for Asian patients (OR 4.27; 95% CI: 1.36–13.70). Sex, cleft type, and cleft laterality were not associated with increased rates of HTS.
Conclusions: Differences in ethnic makeup of respective patient populations may be a major factor influencing the wide variability of reported HTS rates. Consideration should be given to potential prophylactic treatments for HTS in susceptible ethnic populations.

Keywords: cleft lip, hypertrophic scarring, ethnicity, epidemiology

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