Encephalocele – A Single Institution African Experience

  • N Munyi
  • D Poenaru
  • R Bransford
  • L Albright


Objective: This study seeks to find out the presentation, management and complications of encephaloceles in an African setting.
Design: a retrospective study reviewing the age and sex of the patients, type and contents of encephaloceles, associated anomalies, preoperative evaluation and investigations, surgical approaches, intra- and post-operative complications as well as follow-up outcomes.
Setting: Bethany Crippled Children’s centre and Bethanykids at Kijabe Hospital (BKKH), between January 1998 and August 2006.
Patients: Of the 53 patients seen, 23 were males and 30 females. The median age at presentation was four months.
Results: The follow-up period extended to eight years. Twenty nine patients had occipital encephaloceles, and 39 were operated using the direct external approach. Cererobrospinal fluid leak was the most common post-operative complication. Recurrence occurred in four patients and death in six.
Conclusions: Most of the encephalocele patients managed at BKKH had good outcomes and proceeded to live normal or near-normal lives. Our study confirms that even in resource-constrained areas, children with encephaloceles can be successfully managed with acceptable outcomes.

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eISSN: 0012-835X