Prenatal Features Predictive of Robin Sequence Identified by Fetal Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Prenatal magnetic resonance imaging is increasingly used to detect congenital anomalies. The purpose of this study was to determine whether prenatal magnetic resonance imaging accurately characterizes features predictive of postnatal Robin sequence so that possible airway compromise and feeding difficulty at birth can be anticipated.


The authors retrospectively identified pregnant women who underwent fetal magnetic resonance imaging between 2002 and 2014 and were found to be carrying a fetus with micrognathia. Micrognathia was subjectively categorized as minor, moderate, or severe. Pregnancy outcome was determined as follows: intrauterine fetal demise, elective termination, early neonatal death, or viable infant. Postnatal findings of micrognathia, Robin sequence, and associated anomalies were compared to prenatal findings.


Micrognathia was identified in 123 fetuses. Fifty-two pregnancies (42.3 percent) produced a viable infant. The remainder resulted in termination in the fetal period or death shortly after birth resulting from unrelated causes. For infants who lived, prenatal micrognathia was categorized as minor (55.1 percent), moderate (30.6 percent), or severe (14.3 percent). Forty-two percent of neonates with minor prenatal micrognathia had postnatal micrognathia; however, only 11.1 percent had Robin sequence. All neonates with moderate fetal micrognathia had postnatal micrognathia, and the majority had Robin sequence (86.7 percent). All newborns with severe micrognathia had Robin sequence and all prenatally diagnosed with glossoptosis had Robin sequence.


Prenatal findings of moderate or severe micrognathia or glossoptosis are predictive of postnatal Robin sequence, thus expediting appropriate perinatal management of airway and feeding problems.


Diagnostic, IV.

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