Hydrocephalus cases in Ghana: a six-year (2007-2012) review of computed tomography (CT) radiological reports

Eric Kwasi Ofori, Adelaide O.B. Gyamfua, Klenam D Tettey, Edmund K Brakohiapa, Seth Kwadjo Angmorterh


Hydrocephalus is a common neurological disorder where an excess amount of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) accumulates in the ventricular system of the brain. It can be diagnosed through clinical evaluation or radiological imaging modalities. This study aimed to establish the prevalence and characteristics of hydrocephalus cases reported at a diagnostic centre in Ghana. A cross-sectional retrospective study was carried out to evaluate all reports of computed tomography (CT) head scans produced in a diagnostic imaging centre between 2007 and 2012. The reports were purposively sampled manually; sorted according to clinical history; and analysed by an independent consultant radiologist. Confirmed hydrocephalus cases were categorised according to the type and analysed using SPSS v20. During January 2007 to December 2012, 6550 CT scan examinations (53.4% male and 46.6% female) were performed in the department. Of these, 251 (3.8%) were hydrocephalus cases (60.1% female and 39.9% male). The prevalence ranged between 2.5-6.7%. Twenty percent (20%) of the infants <5 years who had presented for CT examinations were diagnosed as hydrocephalus: representing 47.4% of the recorded cases. Communicating hydrocephalus was most common, 123 (49.0%), with ex-vacuo being the least, 1 (0.4%). Statistically significant relationships were found between gender, age and the development of hydrocephalus (χ2 = 19.17, p≤0.001) and (χ2 = 500.49, p≤0.001) respectively. The overall prevalence of hydrocephalus recorded was high. An extensive nationwide study needs to establish the prevalence and facilitate the management of hydrocephalus in Ghana.


cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), medical imaging, ex-vacuo hydrocephalus

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The South African Radiographer | ISSN 0258 0241

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