Can Dynamic Magnetic Resonance Images Improve Prenatal Diagnosis of Robin Sequence

Vera de Vreugt, Jungwhan John Choi, Ryan M. Caprio, Snigdha Jindal, Maarten J. Koudstaal, Judy A. Estroff, Cory M. Resnick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Robin sequence (RS) is a triad of micrognathia, glossoptosis, and airway obstruction. Prenatal diagnosis of RS improves delivery planning and postnatal care, but the process for prenatal diagnosis has not been refined. The purpose of this study was to determine if dynamic cine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can improve the reliability of prenatal diagnosis for RS compared to current static imaging techniques. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective cross-sectional study including fetuses with prenatal MRIs obtained in a single center from January 2014 to November 2019. Fetuses were included if they: 1) had a prenatal MRI with cine dynamic sequences of adequate quality, 2) were live born, and 3) had postnatal craniofacial evaluation to confirm RS. Patients without postnatal confirmation of their prenatal findings were excluded. The primary predictor variable was imaging type (cine or static MRI). Outcome variables were tongue and airway measurements: 1) tongue height, 2) length and width, 3) tongue shape index, 4) observation of tongue touching the posterior pharyngeal wall, and 5) measurement of oropharyngeal space. All measurements were made independently on the cine images and on static MRI sequences for the same cohort of subjects by a pediatric radiologist. Data were analyzed using paired samples t tests and Fisher exact tests, and significance was set as P < .05. Results: A total of 11 patients with RS were included in the study. The smallest airway space consistently demonstrated complete collapse on the cine series compared to partial collapse on static images (0 mm vs 1.7 ± 1.4 mm, P = .002). No other imaging variable was statistically significantly different between techniques. Conclusions: Cine imaging sequences on prenatal MRI were superior to static images in discerning complete collapse of the smallest airway space, an important marker of RS. This suggests a possible benefit to adding dynamic MRI evaluation for prenatal diagnosis of this condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-171
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

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© 2022 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons


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