Evaluation of computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging findings in adult patients presenting with non-traumatic headache
Background: Headache is pain that arises from the head or upper neck and is a common symptom of neurological disorder with an increase in the global health burden. Headache can be classified as primary or secondary or based on duration as acute or chronic.
Objective: To describe the pattern and common findings on computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) among adult patients presenting with non-traumatic headache in our environment.
Methodology: This was a descriptive prospective study carried out in a diagnostic centre in Port Harcourt metropolis over an eighteen-month period. Two hundred and thirty-four (234) patients with a presenting symptom of headache who were sent for neuro-imaging, either computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain were recruited for the study. The neuro-imaging results were classified as significant findings or normal.
Results: The study age group ranged from 20-83 years with a mean age of 51.7 ± 14years. Females were 131 (56%) and males 103 (44%). Neuroimaging studies detected 91(39%) patients with significant findings; Paranasal sinusitis 44(19%) was the most common significant positive finding. Intracranial space occupying lesions 13(5.5%) was more in females, 9(3.8%) than males, 4(1.7%); p=0.03.
Conclusion: Paranasal sinusitis is the most common CT/MRI finding in the studied group of adult patients in our environment with a higher female prevalence in intracranial space occupying lesions.
Keywords: Neuroimaging, Patterns, Secondary headache, Paranasal sinusitis