Preliminary Findings on Metastatic Brain Tumors in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria
Background: Metastatic brain tumors (MBTs) are the most common brain neoplasms seen clinically and are often associated with poor outcomes. This study highlights the demographic, clinical, and radiological profiles as well as outcomes of MBTs managed in a tertiary hospital in Southeast Nigeria.
Methods: This was a 1-year prospective observational study of patients with MBT who presented to the neurosurgery unit of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, from December 2018 to November 2019. Data on the demography, clinical and radiological features, treatment, and outcomes were collected and analyzed.
Results: Of the 31 patients with MBTs, 58.1% were female and 41.9% male. The mean age was 51.0 ± 15.2 years. The most common presenting features were limb weakness (77.4%), headache (58.1%), and personality changes (54.8%). About a quarter (26.7%) were fully conscious at presentation. Only 45.2% knew that they had a systemic malignancy (SM) before presentation. The breast (29.0%), lungs (22.6%), and skin (19.3%) were the common sources of metastases. The lesions were solitary in 25.8% and multiple in 74.2%. They were predominantly frontal (80.6%), with bilateral distribution in 64.5% of patients. Radiotherapy was done in 58.1% and surgery in 6.5% of patients. Prior knowledge of the existence of a SM (P = 0.045) and unilateral brain involvement (P = 0.013) were associated with better 30-day survival.
Conclusion: The breast is the most common source of brain metastasis. Prior knowledge of the existence of a SM and unilateral brain involvement is associated with better short-term survival.
Keywords: Brain, metastasis, primary, survival