Computed Tomographic Scan Findings in Head Injury from a Tertiary Health Facility in South-East Nigeria
Background: Computed tomographic (CT) scan is the ultimate neuro-imaging standard for full evaluation of head injured patients. It guarantees a definitive diagnosis and guides specific treatment. Objective: This study is aimed at examining the CT scan findings in head injury patients managed in a teaching hospital in South-East Nigeria and correlating these with similar studies reported from other centers. Patients & Methods: It is a 3-year retrospective study of the CT scans of head injury patients that presented in our Unit from 1st April 2007 to 31st March 2010. Data was sourced from the Department of Medical records, Radiologists’ reports and Neurosurgery unit records. Only cases of head injury that had CT scanning were included in this study. Data was collated and analyzed with SPSS 13.0. Results: There were 737 cases of head injury within the study period, representing 25.5% of all neurosurgical patients managed under our service in that period. Only 26.6% of these 737 patients did cranio-cerebral computed tomography. Nine of these patients constituting 4.6% had normal CT results. The commonest abnormal findings included: intracranial hemorrhage/hematoma (n-92, 21.3%), cerebral edema (n-85, 19.7%), skull fracture (n-82, 19%), and cerebral contusion (n-76, 17.6%). Conclusion: Intracranial hemorrhage is the most common craniocerebral computed tomographic finding in head injury cases seen in our centre. Computed tomographic scan remains invaluable in the assessment and treatment of some patients with head injuries, considering the high rate of abnormal findings.