The Submental Nasal Appearance Scale for the Assessment of Repaired Unilateral Complete Cleft Lip: A Validation Study

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Objective: To reassess reliability and validity of the Submental Nasal Appearance Scale (SNAS) compared to the preliminary pilot study, for assessment of patient photographs with repaired unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP). When utilizing the SNAS, 3 nasal features (1. nasal outline; 2. alar base position; 3. nostril axis) must be graded according to symmetry between the cleft and noncleft side using a 5-point scale with reference photographs for each feature. The mean score calculated from the graded features reflects the overall degree of nasal symmetry, which is considered an important goal when repairing UCLP. Design: Fifty patient photographs were selected and cropped, displaying the submental view. Six raters assessed these photographs using the SNAS and a separate 5-point scale to assess the overall submental appearance. Interrater reliability was determined for both methods and correlation was calculated between these as an indication of construct validity. Setting: Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Patients: Six- to 9-year-old patients with repaired UCLP. Results: Interrater reliability of 0.73 and 0.48 was found for the SNAS and overall appearance assessment, respectively, while in the pilot study values of 0.79 and 0.69 were found. Correlation of 0.59 and 0.74 was found in the current and pilot study, respectively, between the SNAS and overall appearance assessment. Conclusions: The SNAS is a reliable tool to assess nasal symmetry from the submental perspective. Reliability of the SNAS is higher compared to grading overall appearance, but validity of the SNAS was less well supported.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-643
Number of pages7
JournalCleft palate-craniofacial journal
Issue number5
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • assessment method
  • basal view
  • cleft lip and palate
  • nasal appearance

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