Heat CT Findings at a Public Hospital in Rural Haiti
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CitationCochran, Margaret. 2018. Heat CT Findings at a Public Hospital in Rural Haiti. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Medical School.
AbstractBackground: Neuroimaging is often unavailable in low-income countries, creating challenges for precise diagnosis of neurologic disease in individual patients, and impeding acquisition of precise neuroepidemiologic data for program and policy development.
Methods: We analyzed reports from 3614 head CTs performed between July 2013 and January 2016 at Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais, a publicacademic hospital in rural Haiti, extracting patients' age, study indication, and radiologic findings.
Results: The most common indications for head CT were headache (27%), trauma (19.9%), abnormal neurological exam (12.2%), and stroke (11.3%). The most common categories of neurologic abnormalities were traumatic (31%), vascular (25.8%), and infectious (12%). Of 291 strokes, 64% were ischemic (median age at diagnosis 60.8 years, SD 17.4) and 36% were hemorrhagic (median age 52.0, SD 15.5). In patients undergoing head CT for seizures or epilepsy, 17.5% had evidence of neurocysticercosis. In patients with head trauma, 42.6% had intracranial hemorrhage or fracture. Atrophy was noted on 10% of CTs (median age 57.1; SD 23.8), and was characterized as out of proportion to age in 2% (median age 34.1, SD 15.3).
Conclusions: Median age of stroke patients in this rural low-income population is lower than in high-income countries and proportion of stroke due to intracerebral hemorrhage is higher. Neurocysticercosis is present in nearly one fifth of patients with seizures/epilepsy. These findings can inform policies and programs for prevention and treatment of neurologic disease in low-income settings.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41973505