A simple method of providing protracted airway patency for infants with the Pierre Robin syndrome is nasoesophageal intubation with a small caliber soft plastic catheter. This prevents development of the high posterior pharyngeal negative pressures which are caused by repeated swallowing and sucking and which may pull the tongue into the posterior pharynx to produce airway obstruction. The nasoesophageal tube may be inserted quickly as an emergency measure and may be replaced easily if dislodged. It may be used for several weeks, or months, during which time some infants will grow sufficiently to obviate the need for tongue traction procedures, which are associated with moderately high risk during the neonatal period. More severe cases of Pierre Robin syndrome may require eventual employment of a lip-tongue adhesion when the child is old enough to tolerate the procedure with lower risk.
Stern LM, Hassakis P, Fonkalsrud EW, Jones MH. Management of by Prolonged: Pierre Robin Syndrome in Infancy Nasoesophageal Intubation. Am J Dis Child. 1972;124(1):78–80. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110130080012
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