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Pediatr Neurosurg. 2006;42(5):277-83.

Pattern and factors affecting management outcome of spina bifida cystica in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.



There is paucity of data on the pattern and factors affecting the management outcome of patients with spina bifida cystica in the Ife-Ijesa zone, Nigeria. This study was designed to address this research question.


One hundred and six consecutive cases of spina bifida cystica who presented in our hospital from January 1990 to December 2004 were reviewed. We obtained information on sociodemographic factors, medical history and management as well as clinical outcome. SPSS was used to analyze the data.


Males constituted 54.7% and females 45.2% of cases. Mortality was high in those presented after the 4th week of life (p = 0.04). The malformation occurred in the lumbar and lumbosacral regions in 77.4%. Myelomeningocele was the most common type (86.8%). Hydrocephalus was recorded in 53.8% of patients. Surgical closure was done for 91.5% of the patients. About 77% of all the patients were discharged while 22.7% died. This was significantly related to age at presentation (p = 0.04) and infection before surgery (p = 0.045). Postoperative complications were more frequent in patients with ruptured lesions (p = 0.025), a larger size of defect (p = 0.028) and a lower birth weight (p = 0.006).


Myelomeningocele is the most common type of spina bifida cystica in our environment. Late presentation and preoperative infection are associated with high mortality in our patients.

Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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