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What Is Robin Sequence?

Robin sequence (RS) is a birth defect that involves an abnormally small lower jaw and a tendency for the tongue to fall backward toward the throat and block the airway.

RS is called a sequence because it is thought to result from a series of events that take place as the embryo forms in early pregnancy. In RS, it is thought that the initial defect of the fetus's lower jaw leads to abnormal placement of the tongue. The displaced tongue causes clefting of the palate.

Robin Sequence in Children

In 1923, Pierre Robin, a French physician, linked the above symptoms with breathing problems in affected infants. The current complete name is Pierre Robin malformation sequence, but it is also known as Robin Anomalad; Pierre Robin complex; and Pierre Robin syndrome.

RS can occur by itself (isolated RS) or in combination with other birth defects that affect the head and neck, such as Stickler syndrome.

Robin Sequence at Seattle Children’s

Over the past five years, we have treated 81 children with RS. Each year 10 to 15 children come to our center for treatment for the first time. Last year we performed 34 surgeries on children with this condition.

Learn about research at Seattle Children's into Robin sequence.

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

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Summer 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Role Models
  • Legal Marijuana Means Greater Poisoning Risks for Children
  • Why Choose Pediatric Emergency Care?

Download Summer 2014 (PDF)