Results are reported of a study to evaluate possible associations between nasal septal deformity and palatal symmetry in neonates.
Five hundred babies, born consecutively, were examined within three days of birth. Prenatal and delivery data were recorded for each baby and the nose was examined to determine airway patency and possible septal deformity. When a deviation of the septum was discovered an alginate impression of the palate was taken along with photographs of the nostrils. A matched control was then selected for each study group baby and similar records were obtained.
Only 14 cases of septal deformity were found, an incidence of 2.8 per cent. No evidence of palatal asymmetry was found. The theory that moulding pressures during delivery may be a major cause of nasal septal deformity was not supported.