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Toyin A. Oyemolade, Amos O. Adeleye, Busayo A. Ehinola, Ayodele J. Olusola, Inwonoabasi N. Ekanem, and Damilola J. Adesola

OBJECTIVE

There is a paucity of data-driven reports on neurotrauma from the rural areas of developing countries, despite a disproportionally higher and burgeoning disease burden from those areas. This study aims to define the burden of neurotrauma in a new rural neurosurgical practice of a developing sub-Saharan country in Africa (Nigeria).

METHODS

The authors conducted a prospective observational study of all neurotrauma patients managed at their center over a 36-month period beginning in August 2018.

RESULTS

There were 1067 patients, 816 (76.5%) of them male, accounting for 79% of all the neurosurgical patients seen at the authors’ center during the study period. The peak incidence of neurotrauma was in the 20- to 29-year age group. The median trauma duration was 9 hours before presentation. The neurotrauma involved only head injury (HI) in 78% of the patients and only the spine in 4%. HIs were predominantly mild in severity (79%). Spinal cord injuries were largely incomplete (86%) and cervical in location (72%). Road traffic accidents caused approximately 79% (845/1067) of this neurotrauma burden, mostly from motorcycle crashes (69%, 581/845). Fifty-three patients (5%) were managed surgically. The median time from trauma to surgery for the operated patients was 82 hours. Treatment outcome was good in 81.2% of the patients.

CONCLUSIONS

Neurotrauma, mostly caused by motorcycle crashes and other road accidents, accounts for the bulk of the neurosurgical workload in this rural neurosurgical center. Although late presentation and delayed surgical interventions were prominent features of this level of care, the in-hospital outcome was fortuitously good in the majority of patients.

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Toyin A. Oyemolade, Amos O. Adeleye, Ayodele J. Olusola, Busayo A. Ehinola, Ebosetale P. Aikhomu, and Anita A. Iroko

OBJECTIVE

The proportion of the global burden of neurosurgical disease represented by pediatric neurosurgical pathology is unknown, especially in lower-middle income countries (LMICs) where there exists no known data-driven literature on the subject. In this study, the authors aimed to quantify the pediatric neurosurgical disease profile in a rural area of a developing country.

METHODS

This was a prospective observational study of all pediatric neurosurgical patients managed at a single center over a 30-month period.

RESULTS

Overall, 226 pediatric patients were included in the study (150 males and 76 females, male/female ratio 2:1), accounting for 20.4% of the total patient population during the study period. The modal age distribution was the 0- to 4-year-old group (32.3%), and head injury was the most common presentation, occurring alone in 157 patients (69.5%). Hydrocephalus alone was seen in 21 patients (9.3%) and in combination with myelomeningocele in 4 patients (1.8%). Brain tumors were found in 6 patients (2.7%), infective lesions in 6 patients (2.7%), and encephaloceles in 2 patients (0.9%). The treatment outcome was good in 170 patients (75.2%). Fourteen patients (6.2%) were referred to more advanced health facilities for specialized care; 29 patients (12.8%) were discharged against medical advice, mostly because of financial constraints; and 8 patients (3.5%) died. Several surgical cases could not be performed because of sundry logistical constraints.

CONCLUSIONS

Pediatric neurosurgical disease accounted for one-fifth of the neurosurgical workload at a tertiary health facility in southwest Nigeria. Trauma was the most common presentation, and optimal in-hospital treatment, including surgery, was hampered by severe logistical constraints in a significant proportion of the cases.

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Michael C. Dewan, Abbas Rattani, Saksham Gupta, Ronnie E. Baticulon, Ya-Ching Hung, Maria Punchak, Amit Agrawal, Amos O. Adeleye, Mark G. Shrime, Andrés M. Rubiano, Jeffrey V. Rosenfeld, and Kee B. Park

OBJECTIVE

Traumatic brain injury (TBI)—the “silent epidemic”—contributes to worldwide death and disability more than any other traumatic insult. Yet, TBI incidence and distribution across regions and socioeconomic divides remain unknown. In an effort to promote advocacy, understanding, and targeted intervention, the authors sought to quantify the case burden of TBI across World Health Organization (WHO) regions and World Bank (WB) income groups.

METHODS

Open-source epidemiological data on road traffic injuries (RTIs) were used to model the incidence of TBI using literature-derived ratios. First, a systematic review on the proportion of RTIs resulting in TBI was conducted, and a meta-analysis of study-derived proportions was performed. Next, a separate systematic review identified primary source studies describing mechanisms of injury contributing to TBI, and an additional meta-analysis yielded a proportion of TBI that is secondary to the mechanism of RTI. Then, the incidence of RTI as published by the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 was applied to these two ratios to generate the incidence and estimated case volume of TBI for each WHO region and WB income group.

RESULTS

Relevant articles and registries were identified via systematic review; study quality was higher in the high-income countries (HICs) than in the low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Sixty-nine million (95% CI 64–74 million) individuals worldwide are estimated to sustain a TBI each year. The proportion of TBIs resulting from road traffic collisions was greatest in Africa and Southeast Asia (both 56%) and lowest in North America (25%). The incidence of RTI was similar in Southeast Asia (1.5% of the population per year) and Europe (1.2%). The overall incidence of TBI per 100,000 people was greatest in North America (1299 cases, 95% CI 650–1947) and Europe (1012 cases, 95% CI 911–1113) and least in Africa (801 cases, 95% CI 732–871) and the Eastern Mediterranean (897 cases, 95% CI 771–1023). The LMICs experience nearly 3 times more cases of TBI proportionally than HICs.

CONCLUSIONS

Sixty-nine million (95% CI 64–74 million) individuals are estimated to suffer TBI from all causes each year, with the Southeast Asian and Western Pacific regions experiencing the greatest overall burden of disease. Head injury following road traffic collision is more common in LMICs, and the proportion of TBIs secondary to road traffic collision is likewise greatest in these countries. Meanwhile, the estimated incidence of TBI is highest in regions with higher-quality data, specifically in North America and Europe.