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October 1956

Congenital Bilateral Choanal Atresia

Author Affiliations

New York; New Hyde Park, N. Y.
From the Otolaryngological Service, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1956;64(4):267-269. doi:10.1001/archotol.1956.03830160015003

Congenital choanal atresia, a rare condition in children, is characterized by closure of the posterior nares by a partition that may be membranous, membrano-osseous or osseous. The condition may be bilateral or unilateral. Until recent years a low index of suspicion permitted many of these cases to escape detection. Improved diagnostic techniques should save many of these infants who formerly would have been labelled asphyxia neonatorum.

Embryology  When fusion of the maxillary and nasal processes converts the primary nasal grooves into blind sacs, there remains only one opening at the external nares. At its deep end the olfactory sac is separated from the oral cavity by the bucconasal membrane, which thins and ruptures during the seventh week to form the primary choanae. As the palate and septum develop the nasal cavities are formed from the dorsal portion of the primitive mouth cavity, and the secondary permanent choanae open into the

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