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Morphorlogy of Tumours of the Neurocranium: A Report of Cases and Review of Literature

MO Udoh


Background: Skull bone tumors are rare, but include a vast repertoire of lesions. Although tumours are not a common cause of skull bone pathology, they should form part of the differential diagnoses in patients presenting with neurological symptoms, visible/palpable head lumps, and/or skull bone abnormalities on imaging. There is little systematic reporting globally, and not much local data is available on these tumours in Nigerians.
Aims: This retrospective study of tumours of the neurocranium, documents the histologic types of tumours encountered seen in a tertiary facility in South-South Nigeria, and discusses their clinicopathologic features and epidemiological characteristics, in the light of existing literature.
Methods: Data on cranial vault and skull base tumours histologically diagnosed in 15 years including histological diagnoses, tumour location, and other clinical and demograghic data, was analysed using SPSS 20 (SPSS Inc, IL, USA).
Results: 17 skull bone tumors were diagnosed in 15 years. Male-female ratio was 1:1.4. 70.6% of patients were below 40 years of age. The mean age of patients was 29.31 ± 23.13 years. Primary bone tumours made up 70.59% tumours. The ratio of malignant to benign tumours was 1:1.1. The most common tumour was Fibrous Dysplasia (29.41%). Other primary skull lesions encountered include, Epidermoid inclusion cysts of the skull, Osteoma, Chordoma, Osteosarcoma, and Undifferentiated small cell sarcoma of bone.
Conclusions: The small number of tumours encountered in this study limits the inferences that can be drawn based on observations, but documenting skull lesions encountered provides an aid in approaching the differential diagnosis of skull tumors in our environment.

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