Mandibular Catch-Up Growth in Pierre Robin Sequence: A Systematic Review

Chad A. Purnell, Lindsay E. Janes, Julian L. Klosowiak, Arun K. Gosain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objective: The concept of mandibular catch-up growth is often quoted in the literature regarding Pierre Robin sequence (PRS). We endeavored to perform a systematic review of whether the literature supports this concept. Design: Systematic review. Interventions: A PubMed-based systematic review of the English literature was performed of articles objectively measuring mandibular growth or position after nonoperative management of PRS. Main Outcome Measures: Rate and end point of mandibular length, ramus length, gonial angle, and maxillomandibular discrepancy. Results: The initial search delivered 607 English-language abstracts. Of these, 16 met inclusion criteria. Eight articles evaluating 143 patients followed longitudinal patient data and therefore allowed comparison of growth rates to controls. Ten articles evaluating 228 patients presented cross-sectional data and therefore could only evaluate a single time point. Two of the 8 longitudinal studies reported faster than normal growth of mandibular length in a significant portion of their cohort. Five of 8 reported equal growth rates. One of 16 studies reported that mandibular length of patients with PRS normalized compared to controls. Two of 16 studies reported no difference in maxillomandibular discrepancy between PRS and controls, whereas 10 reported a posteriorly displaced mandible relative to the maxilla in PRS. Significant differences in control groups, patients, and age existed between studies. Conclusions: While the concept of catch-up growth in PRS is often quoted, a minority of objective studies suggest increased mandibular growth rates in isolated PRS. Even fewer studies suggest that the maxillomandibular discrepancy in PRS completely resolves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-176
Number of pages9
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Pierre Robin sequence
  • catch-up growth
  • cleft palate
  • mandibular growth
  • micrognathia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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