Background: Myriad maxillo-mandibular occlusal relationships are observed in patients with isolated cleft palate (ICP), unlike in patients with other cleft types, such as cleft lip and palate. Objectives: This study aimed to categorise the characteristics of craniofacial morphology in patients with ICP, and investigate the clinical factors affecting these categorised morphological characteristics. Methods: Thirty-six girls with ICP (age (mean ± SD): 5.36 ± 0.36 years) underwent cephalometric measurement. Their craniofacial morphology was categorised using cluster analysis. Profilograms were created and superimposed onto the standard Japanese profilograms to visualise the morphological characteristics of each group (cluster). The mean values and variations in the linear and angular measurements of each group were compared with the Japanese standards and statistically analysed using Dunnett’s test after the analysis of variance. Fisher’s exact test was used to analyse the differences between the cleft types (cleft in the hard and/or soft palate) and skills of the operating surgeons in the groups. Results: Cluster analysis of craniofacial morphologies in patients with ICP resulted in the formation of three categories: the first cluster exhibited a relatively harmonious anteroposterior relationship between the maxilla and the mandible (22.2%); the second cluster exhibited crossbite owing to a significantly smaller maxilla (33.3%); and the third cluster exhibited a smaller mandible with posterior rotation showing skeletal class II malocclusion (44.4%). Differences in cleft types and surgeons were not associated with the distribution of patients in each cluster. Conclusions: Patients with ICP exhibited characteristic morphological patterns, such as bimaxillary retrusion or severe mandibular retrusion, besides the anterior crossbite frequently found in patients with cleft lip and palate . Understanding the typical morphological characteristics could enable better diagnostic categorisation of patients with ICP, which may eventually improve orthodontic treatment planning.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes