Journal of Biomedical Sciences

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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings in Patients Presenting with Headache in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Michael Promise Ogolodom, Awajimijan Nathaniel Mbaba, Rufus Abam, Beatrice Ukamaka Maduka, Lekpa Kingdom David, Alazigha Nengi and Chidinma Wekhe

Background: Headache is a common complaint in clinical practice, though most patients who present with headache have no neurological abnormality on Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) investigations. Good knowledge of the patterns of MR image findings in patients with a headache would serve as a guide to neurosurgeons and clinicians in the management of these patients. This study was designed to evaluate the MR image findings in patients with headache in our locality.

Materials and Method: A retrospective cross-sectional study design was adopted in this study and it was conducted in Port Harcourt metropolis, Rivers State Nigeria to cover three diagnostic centers with MRI facilities. The population of the study consisted of patients’ records of all cases of brain MRI investigations done based on headache as the clinical indication. Permission for this study was obtained from the management of the selected study centers. All patients’ information that was obtained in this study was treated with a high level of confidentiality and used for the purpose of this study only. A sample size of 150 MRI reports was reviewed and selected purposively based on the inclusion criteria set for this study. Data for this study were obtained using a data capture sheet. The obtained data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21. Descriptive statistics (frequency, table and percentages) were adopted for data analysis.

Results: Out of 150 cases studied, 58% (n=87) were females while males were 42% (n=63) with male to female ratio of 1:1.4. Of the 150 cases evaluated, 31.33% (n=47) were within the age group 26-30 years of age as highest, followed by age group 31-35 years 18.67% (n=28) and the least were within the age group 15-20 years of age, which is 4% (n=6). With regards to the frequency and percentage distribution of the MRI findings in patients presented with headache, out of 150 cases assessed, 48% (n=72) had normal MRI finding as highest, followed by sinusitis 21.34% (n=32) and the least were pituitary mass and meningitis, which is 1.33% (n=2) each irrespectively.

Conclusion: Female preponderance was noted in this study. The majority of the subjects were mostly within 2nd to 4th decades of age. Normal MRI findings were the most prevalent patterns in patients presenting with headache in this study. The most common pathology was sinusitis.