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Niger J Med. 2013 Jan-Mar;22(1):19-23.

The pattern of distribution of encephalocele in University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital--a three year experience.

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  • 1Neurosurgical Unit, Department of Surgery University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.



Encephalocele is a congenital anomaly that results from failure of complete neural tube closure during foetal development. It is a known cause of mortality and morbidity in infants. This study was carried out to highlight its distribution pattern in University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital over a three-year-period.


This is a retrospective study of children with encephalocele admitted from January 2007 to December 2009. The following information were obtained from their medical records: sex, age at diagnosis, distribution pattern, place of origin, detailed antenatal history, maternal occupation/level of education, family history, associated anomalies and outcome of surgery.


17 cases (10 females and 7 males) were seen over this period. 12 presented as frontal encephalocele while 5 were occipital. Their ages at diagnosis were: prenatal (determinded by abdominal ultrasound) 5, 0-6 months 11, and 7-12 months 1. 9 of 17 mothers were unbooked. Pregnancy was uneventful in all cases. None had family history of encephalocele. 5 had multiple anomalies while 12 had only encephalocele. 10 patients had surgery, of which 9 were successful. 1 died in the immediate postoperative period. 7 patients did not have surgery. Among these, 3 died before surgery while the parents of 4 children refused operation. 10 mothers had primary education, 5 secondary, while 2 had attained tertiary education.


Encephalocele may be frontal or occipital. The distribution pattern of our cases was in favour of frontal location, with slight female preponderance.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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