The Surgical Treatment of Robin Sequence: Neonatal Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis in the Unfavorable Patient.
Summary: This study evaluated the use of mandibular distraction osteogenesis (MDO) in the treatment of neonates with severe Pierre Robin sequence (undeveloped jaw; PRS).
Conclusion: In neonates with severe Pierre Robin sequence (undeveloped jaw), treatment with mandibular distraction osteogenesis can be safe and effective.
Background: Neonates with severe Pierre Robin sequence (PRS) can be treated by mandibular distraction osteogenesis (MDO), tongue-lip adhesion, or tracheostomy; however, there is an active debate regarding the indications of MDO in this patient population. Published algorithms identify tracheomalacia, bronchomalacia, laryngomalacia, hypotonic syndromes, and central sleep apnea as contraindications for MDO and indications for tracheostomy, but these comorbidities may exist along a spectrum of severity. The authors propose that appropriately selected neonates with PRS who concurrently express 1 or more of these traditional contraindications may be successfully treated with MDO.
Methods: The authors performed a 5-year retrospective chart review of all neonates who underwent MDO for treatment of severe PRS. All patients expressed a comorbidity previously identified as an indication for tracheostomy. Pre- and postoperative characteristics were recorded. Apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) before and after MDO were compared using 2-tailed repeated measures t-test.
Results: The authors identified 12 patients with severe PRS and conditions associated with contraindications to MDO: 9 (75.0%) patients had laryngomalacia, 6 (50.0%) patients had tracheomalacia, 2 (16.6%) patients had bronchomalacia, 1 (8.3%) patient had central sleep apnea, and 3 (25.0%) patients had hypotonia. Five (41.7%) patients underwent concurrent gastrostomy tube placement due to feeding insufficiency. Average birthweight was 3.0 kg. Average pre-op AHI was 34.8. Average post-op AHI was 7.3. All patients successfully underwent MDO with avoidance of tracheostomy.
Conclusions: By employing an interdisciplinary evaluation of patient candidacy, MDO can safely and effectively treat upper airway obstruction and avoid tracheostomy in higher-risk neonatal patients with traditional indications for tracheostomy.