Neonatal nasal obstruction

Andrés Alvo, Galia Villarroel, Cecilia Sedano
European Archives of Oto-rhino-laryngology 2021 January 3

PURPOSE: Congenital nasal obstruction can be a significant cause of respiratory distress in the newborn, given that they are considered to be obligate nasal breathers. Several different causes have been described, which can be broadly classified as anatomical/malformative, non-tumoral masses and cysts, benign and malignant neoplasia, inflammatory/infectious, traumatic/iatrogenic, and miscellaneous. The purpose of this review is to provide updated and useful clinical information for teams involved in neonatal care, especially in a hospital setting.

METHODS: A review of the available literature was performed. Studies were sourced from PubMed with searching of relevant headings and sub-headings and cross-referencing.

RESULTS: The most common etiology is inflammatory, which can have different precipitating factors or be idiopathic, a condition known as neonatal rhinitis. On the other hand, some less frequent but nonetheless relevant conditions causing severe nasal obstruction include choanal atresia, midnasal stenosis, and pyriform aperture stenosis. Some cystic lesions, such as dacryocystoceles with intranasal mucocele, can also produce significant obstruction. Diagnosis usually requires a nasal endoscopy and in some cases imaging such as computed tomography. Management includes different medical and surgical strategies and will greatly depend on the etiology and the severity of symptoms.

CONCLUSION: Congenital nasal obstruction can be a significant cause of respiratory distress in the newborn. The wide spectrum of differential diagnoses requires a thorough knowledge of nasal anatomy, physiology, and pathology; as well as different management strategies.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"