Maxillary Hypoplasia: Differential Diagnosis of Nasal Obstruction in Infants

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Maxillary hypoplasia (MH) is a rare cause of respiratory dysfunction in infants and may occur in association with genetic abnormalities or as an isolated condition. It is included in the differential diagnosis of congenital nasal obstruction. This paper seeks to report a case series of infants with MH, discuss methods for its diagnosis, and compare computed tomography (CT) measurements of nasal cavities of infants with MH and without craniomaxillofacial abnormalities. The therapeutic approach in each patient is also described. All infants with MH admitted to a tertiary hospital between 2012 and 2015 were included. Baseline nasal endoscopy was performed at bedside. The width of the infants’ nasal cavities was measured by a radiologist with experience in CT scanning of facial bones. Control patients were infants of matched sex and similar age who underwent head CT scanning for various reasons. Overall, 8 infants with MH and 8 controls were assessed. All nasal cavity dimensions of infants with MH were significantly smaller than those of control subjects. The authors conclude that the diagnosis of MH should be considered in infants with nasal obstruction and nasal cavity narrowing at nasal endoscopy.

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