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The epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of subarachnoid haemorrhage in Nigeria: what do we know and what do we need to know?

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor David Mendelow, Professor Richard Walker


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Our goal was to review published literature on the epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) in Nigeria. With an estimated population of 126 million, roughly 6 million persons in Nigeria have or will develop an intracranial aneurysm in their lifetime. This study should highlight the areas requiring research and development, and facilitate future health care planning. A Medline and Embase literature review of reports on the management of SAH in Nigeria was conducted. The search terms were as follows: stroke, subarachnoid haemorrhage, intracerebral haemorrhage, brain, Nigeria, Nsukka, Ibadan, Lagos, Kaduna, Jos, Benin, Port Harcourt, Africa. All identified abstracts were reviewed for inclusion in the study. Only papers dealing with the study objectives were obtained for review of the bibliography and further analysis. Thirty articles have now been published about stroke in Nigerians. Fifteen of these either discussed SAH specifically or, in general, with other stroke subtypes ( ischaemic stroke and intracerebral haematoma) or reviewed vascular intracranial anomalies such as aneurysms. The most detailed paper on this issue was published in 1970 and according to that report SAH is more common in males and prevalent in young people below the age of 40 years (68% of the patients reviewed). Worldwide improvements in medical and surgical management have not been reflected in the literature on SAH. Neurologists, stroke physicians and not neurosurgeons, treat patients with SAH in Nigeria. The results presented in this study reflect the current status of the medical and surgical management of SAH in Nigeria. Conclusive data relating to epidemiology, incidence, diagnosis, current treatment modalities and outcome of SAH in Nigeria have not been published. There is, therefore, a pressing need for further study in these areas and improvements in the management of patients with SAH.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ogungbo B, Mendelow AD, Walker R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Neurosurgery

Year: 2004

Volume: 18

Issue: 4

Pages: 362-366

ISSN (print): 0268-8697

ISSN (electronic): 1360-046X

Publisher: Informa Healthcare


DOI: 10.1080/02688690400005057


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