Growth and prevalence of feeding difficulties in children with Robin sequence: a retrospective cohort study

Emma C. Paes, Iris A. C. de Vries, Wouter M. Penris, Karlijn H. Hanny, Selma W. Lavrijsen, Elselien K. van Leerdam, Maaike M. Rademaker, Esther S. Veldhoen, Rene M. J. C. Eijkemans, Moshe Kon, Corstiaan C. Breugem

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Objectives: In addition to breathing problems, patients with Robin sequence (RS) often encounter feeding difficulties (FD). Data regarding the occurrence of FD and possible influencing factors are scarce. The study aim was to elucidate these factors to improve treatment strategies. Material and methods: A retrospective comparative cohort study was conducted, consisting of 69 infants diagnosed with both RS and a cleft palate and 64 isolated cleft palate only (iCPO) infants. Data regarding FD, growth, and airway intervention were collected during the first 2 years of life. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to identify reported FD in RS patients. Results: RS patients had more FD (91 %) than iCPO patients (72 %; p = 0.004). Also, nasogastric (NG)-tube feeding was necessary more frequently and for a longer period (both p < 0.001). Growth was lower in RS than iCPO infants (p = 0.008) and was not affected by the kind of airway management (conservative/surgical; p = 0.178), cleft palate grade (p = 0.308), or associated disorders (p = 0.785). By contrast, surgical intervention subtype did significantly affect growth. Mean reported FD for RS in the literature is 80 % (range = 47–100 %), and 55 % (range = 11–100 %) of infants need NG-tube feeding. Conclusions: FD is present in a large proportion of infants with RS, which indicates the need for early recognition and proper treatment to ensure optimal growth. Growth during the first 2 years of life is significantly lower in RS patients than iCPO patients, which indicates the need for careful attention and long-term follow-up. Clinical relevance: This study indicates the need for early recognition and proper treatment of FD in RS to ensure optimal growth. In addition, growth needs careful attention and long-term follow-up.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2063-2076
JournalClinical oral investigations
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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