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March 1965

Hypoventilation in Acquired Micrognathia

Author Affiliations


From the Medical Department "D," Rambam Government Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(3):307-310. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03860150051009

MICROGNATHIA, an extreme underdevelopment of the mandible, occurs in agenesis of the condyles and in resorption of dislocated or ankylosed condyles due to fractures or local infections in early life.1 When symmetrical, it often produces retrusion of the chin, which imparts a characteristic bird-like appearance to the face.

The congenital form often presents as a respiratory emergency in a newborn infant, since the condition is associated with glossoptosis and nasopharyngeal airway obstruction—a combination also known as the Pierre Robin syndrome.2 Respiratory embarrassment, acute or chronic, to the best of our knowledge, has not been reported in association with acquired micrognathia. The following case record presents such a patient with chronic traumatic micrognathia complicated many years later by progressive respiratory failure.

Report of Case  A 55-year-old Arab man was admitted to the Medical Department on April 23, 1963, complaining of an excessive tendency to fall asleep day and night.