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Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2004 Jan;41(1):47-52.

Pierre Robin sequence in Denmark: a retrospective population-based epidemiological study.

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  • 1Clinic of Plastic Surgery and Burns, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.



To give an epidemiological description of the clinical entity given the name Pierre Robin sequence, defined by retro- and micrognathia, cleft palate, and respiratory distress and describe other malformations and possible intrauterine impairment.


Using the inclusion criteria of micrognathia, cleft palate, and neonatal respiratory distress, a retrospective population-based study of all Danish live births during 1990 through 1999 were carried out. We found 50 children, 25 boys and 25 girls, fulfilling the inclusion criteria, giving an incidence of 1 in 14,000 live births.


Two-thirds (n = 33) of the children had the classical U-shaped cleft palate. More than one-third (n = 19) had one or several other malformations, and in five patients the triad of Pierre Robin was a minor feature of a complex syndrome. The most common noncomplex syndrome was the Stickler syndrome found in 6 of the 50 patients. More than one-fourth (n = 17) had some kind of intrauterine impairment, with no specific obstetric diagnosis predominant. Consistent with this, the average birth weight was well below normal.


Several authors have stated that the triad of Pierre Robin is not a nosological entity, in that it has diverse etiology and diverse pathogenesis. We conclude that the triad of Pierre Robin still can be regarded as a clinical entity, readily defined at birth, experiencing the same neonatal problems in varying degrees and hence the possibility of designing treatment protocols for later scientific evaluation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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