Unilateral choanal atresia

Case contributed by Mohamed Saber


Healthy baby with failure to pass a catheter through the right nasal cavity

Patient Data

Age: 2 days
Gender: Female

Narrowed right posterior choanal opening (measures 2.5 mm) compared to the left side (measures 5 mm) secondary to medial bowing of the posterior maxilla and thickened vomer. The right nasal cavity is seen obliterated with a plug of retained secretions. Normal aeration of the left nasal cavity and left-sided nasal septal deviation. 

Annotated image

The red arrow points to the right choanal atresia. The green arrow points to the normal left side. The orange circle surrounds the thickened vomer.

Case Discussion

Congenital choanal atresia is unilateral in two-thirds of cases. It is osseous in 90% of cases and membranous in 10%. Our case is of osseous type with retained secretions. Unilateral choanal atresia presents late and can be asymptomatic or present with rhinorrhea.

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.