Choanal atresia is a congenital disorder where the back of the nasal passage (choana) is blocked, usually by abnormal bony or soft tissue (membranous) due to failed hole development of the nasal fossae during prenatal development. It causes persistent rhinorrhea, and with bilateral choanal atresia and obstructed airway that can cause cyanosis and hypoxia.
Choanal atresia is diagnosed based on the inability to place a nasal catheter, and radiology results (particularly CT scans). Treatment involves maintaining an open airway, and may involve surgery to reopen the airway, potentially with a stent. Choanal atresia is a fairly rare condition, affecting between 1 in 7,000 to 1 in 5,000 live births.