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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2012 Oct;25 Suppl 4:141-3. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2012.715011.

Mandibular distraction osteogenesis for neonates with Pierre Robin sequence and airway obstruction.

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Department of Paediatrics, Paediatric Emergency and Intensive Care, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.


Neonates with Pierre Robin Sequence (PRS) usually present with varying degrees of upper airway obstruction and difficulty feeding. Early treatment is important for such children in order to prevent impaired cognitive development resulting from hypoxemic episodes. Various procedures aimed at widening the pharyngeal space have been proposed, including prone position, tongue-lip adhesion, mandibular traction, non-invasive ventilation and palatal plates. Mandibular distraction osteogenesis (MDO) using external or internal devices has become increasingly popular as an alternative treatment option when other medical or surgical techniques do not prove to be satisfactory. This review summarizes current evidence on the effectiveness of MDO in infants with PRS. Because of a lack of studies comparing this treatment with other procedures, general recommendations cannot be drawn and treatment of infants with PRS still requires individualization.

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