Central African Journal of Medicine

The AJOL site is currently undergoing a major upgrade, and there will temporarily be some restrictions to the available functionality.
-- Users will not be able to register or log in during this period.
-- Full text (PDF) downloads of Open Access journal articles will be available as always.
-- Full text (PDF) downloads of subscription based journal articles will NOT be available
We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please check back soon, as we will revert to usual policy as soon as possible.

DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT Open Access  DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT Subscription or Fee Access

Non-traumatic spinal cord compression at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe

Aaron Musara, K Kalangu, S Makarawo


Compression of the spinal cord by encroachment on its space is of major importance as a cause of injury to its tissues, with serious neurological consequences. Patients with non-traumatic spinal cord compression represent a significant proportion of paraplegic/paretic individuals attended to in the neurosurgical units in Zimbabwe.

Objective: This study was carried out to retrospectively identify the various causes of spinal cord compression in our setting at Parirenyatwa Hospital, Harare from 1998 to 2004.

Setting: Parirenyatwa Hospital, Harare.

Design: Patient files of patients admitted and treated as cases of non-traumatic spinal cord compression between January 1998 and December 2004 were retrieved and analysed retrospectively.

Subjects: All records found of patients diagnosed of spinal cord compression were incorporated into the study. Eighty patients were therefore enrolled into the study.

Main Outcome Measures: Data was compiled from patient records and from pathological and radiological reports onto a closed questionnaire designed for computer analysis.

Results: Spinal tuberculosis was the commonest cause of cord compression (42.5% of all cases). Metastatic disease was next being responsible for 22.5% and primary tumours third, causing compression in 16.3%.

Conclusion: Spinal cord compression occurs more commonly in man than women in our setting with a ratio of 1.6:1. Spinal tuberculosis was the commonest cause of cord compression (42.5% of all cases).

Full Text:

No subscription journal articles available during site upgrade.

AJOL African Journals Online