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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 172-176

Sonographic pattern of hydrocephalus among the under five children in Sokoto North Western Nigeria

1 Department of Radiology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria
2 Department of Radiology, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
3 Department of Surgery, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Sule Ahmed Saidu
Department of Radiology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1118-8561.176584

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Background: Hydrocephalus among children is an important medical problem in view of its neurological sequelae in the growing child. This situation is compounded by the acute shortage of neurosurgeons in third world countries like Nigeria; hence, the need for its early detection and proper management. Objective: Evaluation of the ultrasound (US) appearances in children under 5 years of age presenting with clinical signs of raised intracranial pressure suggestive of hydrocephalus. Patients and Methods: A retrospective review of transfontanelle US scans done in 64 children (39 boys and 25 girls) attending the Department of Radiology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria over a period of 2 years was carried out. The patients had a mean age of 5.0 ± 4.6 months (range: 1–60 months) at the time of their US examination. Some of the clinical indications for US scan included: Congenital hydrocephalus, encephalocele, meningomyelocele, and meningitis. All scans were performed through the anterior fontanelle using SIUI Apogee 800 PLUS scanner with a curvilinear probe using multi-frequency transducer of 2–5 MHz. Results: Fifty-two patients (81.3%) had hydrocephalus of congenital origin. Eleven cases (17.2%) had postmeningitic hydrocephalus while only 1 case (1.6%) was posthemorrhagic. Twenty-five patients (48.0%) of the congenital cases were due to cerebral aqueduct stenosis. Eleven (21.2%) of the congenital cases were from obstruction at the exit foramina of Luschka and Magendie resulting in the communicating type of hydrocephalus. Conclusion: Hydrocephalus is a known cause of neurological morbidity among infants in developing countries. Majority of the cases are congenital in origin and most commonly due to cerebral aqueduct stenosis. Transfontanelle US is cheap, affordable, nonhazardous, and more accessible than other imaging modalities. It should serve as the first-line investigation of infants with suspected hydrocephalus for early detection and monitoring of progression to determine those cases that would require shunt operation.

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