Mandibular micrognathia is the hallmark of Pierre Robin sequence (PRS). A high prevalence of mandibular hypodontia has been reported in subjects with PRS. The hypothesis of this study is that the morphology of the mandible in subjects with PRS and mandibular hypodontia is different from that in subjects with PRS but without mandibular hypodontia.
The study was conducted at the craniofacial center of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. The study sample comprised 16 caucasian children with nonsyndromic PRS (7 boys, 9 girls) with mandibular hypodontia and 18 white children with nonsyndromic PRS (6 boys, 12 girls) without hypodontia. Longitudinal lateral cephalograms were available before orthodontic treatment (T1; mean age, 11.7 years) and after orthodontic treatment but before orthognathic surgery (T2; mean age, 16.6 years). A new, customized cephalometric analysis with additional landmarks and measurements to study mandibular morphology was performed. Differences in measurements were studied by using analysis of variance adjusted for age and sex.
Cephalometric measurements were smaller in the group with mandibular hypodontia at T1: mandibular length (3.36 mm, P = .04), ramal length (2.78 mm, P = .04), posterior facial height (3.97 mm, P = .03), and mandibular molar eruption (1.96 mm, P = .02). At T2, the differences increased: mandibular length (4.56 mm, P = .02), ramal length (4.04 mm, P = .002), posterior facial height (5.98 mm, P = .001), and mandibular molar eruption (2.08 mm, P = .04). Comparison of growth increments between the 2 groups from T1 to T2 showed a greater cranial base deflection increment in the group with mandibular hypodontia (0.88 degrees, P = .02) and a larger posterior facial height increment in the group without mandibular hypodontia (2.02 mm, P = .04).
Children with nonsyndromic PRS with mandibular hypodontia had smaller mandibles than children with nonsyndromic PRS and normal complements of mandibular teeth. Their patterns of growth did not improve during adolescence, and the magnitude of differences increased.