Choanal atresia

Case contributed by Dr Fakhry Mahmoud Ebouda


A young female is complaining of nasal obstruction and discharge. Nasal scope showed right choanal atresia.

Patient Data

Age: 4 years
Gender: Female

The right posterior nasal opening appears narrowed with approximation of its opposing bony component with relatively thick posterior aspect of the vomer. The right aperature measures 1mm. consequent retained secretion is seen within the right nasal cavity.

Case Discussion

Choanal atresia means failure of formation of the posterior choanal opening. The condition may be unilateral or bilateral. If bilateral it will present immediately after birth with neonatal respiratory distress.

Unilateral choanal atresia presents later and can be relatively asymptomatic or present with rhinorrhea and represents 2/3 of cases. The vast majority ( 90% ) are osseous, with the remaining 10% are membraneous.

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