Simpamba et al., 2018 Profiling Children with Neural Tube Defects at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka
Background: Neural tube defects (NTDs) are the world’s second most common birth defects after cardiovascular defects. In developing countries like Zambia, these defects are unrecognized and under reported. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the profile of children with NTDs at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka.
Methodology: A retrospective review of medical records of children with NTDs who were admitted at the UTH between January and December, 2010 was done. Data was collected using a data extraction sheet and descriptive analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 20.
Results: A total of 101 patients with NTDs were identified from the 2010 patients’ register and out of these, only 50 medical records were located, which constituted the study sample. The sample had more boys (58%) than girls (42%). The majority of the children were from Lusaka province with 28%, while the minority were from North-Western and Copperbelt provinces with 2% each. The profile showed that many children (78%) presented with Spina Bifida (SB), with encephalocele (20%) and lastly one with both SB and encephalocele (2%). Myelomeningocele was the most common type of SB (44%) while the lumbar region was the commonest site (52%). Occipital encephalocele (12%) was the commonest cranial NTD compared with the nasal (6%) and frontal (2%).
Conclusion: The majority of the children with NTDs admitted at the UTH were from Lusaka province and SB was the most common type of NTDs. Myelomeningocele was the most common presentation while the lumbar region was the most common site. Occipital encephalocele was the commonest compared with other encephaloceles.