Diagnosis and treatment of the Pierre Robin sequence: results of a retrospective clinical study and review of the literature


We performed a retrospective study of all children with Pierre Robin sequence (PRS), admitted to our hospital from 1981–1998 in order to evaluate diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Patients were divided into two categories: isolated PRS (group 1) and PRS plus, i.e. PRS as part of a more complex syndrome (group 2). A total of 74 patients with PRS were found, 29 (39%) males and 45 (61%) females of whom 47 (63.5%) could be categorised as isolated PRS and 27 (36.8%) as PRS plus. The most frequent diagnoses in patients with PRS plus were Stickler syndrome and the velocardiofacial syndrome. Ophthalmological and fluorescent in situ hybridisation of chromosome 22 investigations should therefore be performed in all patients, as soon as the diagnosis of PRS is established. Some form of airway treatment was necessary in the majority of patients (52 of 74), most could be treated conservatively with prone/lateral positioning and close observation. Endotracheal intubation was necessary in one child from group 1 versus five from group 2. Tracheostomy was performed in three children from group 1 and two from group 2. Feeding problems occurred in about 25% of all PRS patients and stunted growth was seen especially in boys with isolated PRS before the age of 10 months.

Conclusion In our series, 33% of patients with Pierre Robin sequence plus had Stickler and velocardiofacial syndromes. Conservative airway management was a sufficient treatment for respiratory problems in the majority of patients. Feeding and growth need special attention in patients with Pierre Robin sequence.

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Received: 4 April 2000 / Accepted: 21 August 2000

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van den Elzen, A., Semmekrot, B., Bongers, E. et al. Diagnosis and treatment of the Pierre Robin sequence: results of a retrospective clinical study and review of the literature. Eur J Pediatr 160, 47–53 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004310000646

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  • Key words Congenital malformations
  • Follow-up
  • Infants and children
  • Pierre Robin sequence
  • Treatment