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Choanal atresia is a narrowing or blockage of the nasal airway by tissue. It is a congenital condition, meaning it is present at birth.
The cause of choanal atresia is unknown. It is thought to occur when the thin tissue separating the nose and mouth area during fetal development remains after birth.
The condition is the most common nasal abnormality in newborn infants, affecting about 1 in 7,000 live births. Females get this condition about twice as often as males. More than half of affected infants also have other congenital problems.
Choanal atresia is generally diagnosed shortly after birth while the infant is still in the hospital.
Haddad J Jr. Congenital disorders of the nose. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 368.
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