Laryngeal tumours: clinical features and management challenges as seen in two centres in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

  • LO Onotai
  • C Nwosu


Background: Laryngeal tumours especially the malignant varieties are not uncommon with a number of factors affecting their management in most resource poor countries. Late clinical presentation and diagnosis is commonplace in the sub-Saharan region of Africa.

Aim: To determine the prevalence of laryngeal tumours as seen in two centres in Port Harcourt, Nigeria and highlights the challenges encountered in the management of these patients.

Methods: A retrospective study carried out using records of patients who presented with features of laryngeal tumours to both the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) and Kinx Medical Consultants Hospital in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The period of the study was from January 2003 to December 2014. Data extracted included age, gender, clinical features, radiological investigations, histopathologic diagnosis and treatment modalities. Data were analyzed using simple descriptive statistical methods.

Results: A total of thirty five cases were seen with laryngeal diseases during the 12-year period out of 2,300 patients who presented with laryngeal symptoms giving a prevalence of 1.52%. There were 30 males and 5 females giving a male to female ratio of 6: 1. The age range was 40 years to 70 years. The mean age was 58.5 ± 4.55 years. The age range 50-59 years was mostly affected. The commonest mode of presentation was hoarseness (100%). Twenty five cases (71.43%) were found to be malignant diseases while 10 (28.57%) cases were benign diseases. Twenty (57.14%) of the patients had emergency tracheostomy.  The predominant histological type was well differentiated squamous cell carcinoma [15(42.86%)]. Only three (8.57 %) patients had total laryngectomy.

Conclusion: The prevalence of laryngeal tumours in our environment was found to be 1.52% and patients within the middle age group were mostly affected. Well differentiated squamous cell carcinoma was the commonest histopathological type.

Keywords: Challenges, Management, Laryngeal tumours, Squamous cell carcinoma, Papillomas, Total laryngectomy, Port Harcourt


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eISSN: 0795-3038