Pattern of Presentation of Patients with Leukaemia in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria
AbstractAim: To determine the pattern of clinical presentation and haematological parameters of leukaemias, which had not been documented in this part of Niger Delta region of Nigeria, noted for its petrochemical industries and gas flare sites.
Method: All cases of leukaemia that presented to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, a major referral center in the region from April 1993 to March 2003 were reviewed. Demographic and clinical information including duration of illness before presentation were obtained by oral interview. Diagnosis was established based on the morphological features obtained from well-stained (leishman) peripheral blood smears and bone marrow aspirates. Haematological parameters were done using Automated Coulter Counter.
Results: Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) occurred mainly in adolescent (<19 years) while chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) occurred predominantly in young adulthood (20-39 years). Granulocytic sarcoma was absent in the leukaemias. Majority of the patients presented in the advanced stage of the disease. The earliest and latest duration of illness before presentation was 2 months and 4 years respectively. At the time of diagnosis, 85% of the patients had haemoglobin level of less than 10g/dl. All the Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) patients presented as high-risk group. AML M4 subtype and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) L1 and the rare L3 subtypes were the commonest presentations.
Conclusion: Many patients presented late in the advanced stage of disease. This was due to poverty, ignorance, illiteracy and other strong limiting factors.
Key words: Leukaemia; incidence; pattern; presentation
Journal of College of Medicine Vol.10(1) 2005:26-30