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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 294-299

Landscape, presentation, and characteristics of brain gliomas in Zimbabwe


1 Department of Surgery, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe; Department of Optics and Imaging, Doris Duke Medical Research Institute, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
2 Department of Surgery, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
3 Division of Neurosurgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Bamenda, Bamenda, Cameroon
4 Department of Optics and Imaging, Doris Duke Medical Research Institute, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
5 Department of Histopathology, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
6 Division of Neurosurgery, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
7 Department of Biochemistry, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Luxwell Jokonya
Department of Surgery, College of Health Science, University of Zimbabwe, Parirenyatwa Hospital, Mazowe Street, Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ajns.AJNS_404_20

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Introduction: Gliomas are tumors of the supporting cells of the central nervous system. They have great heterogeneity in their clinical and pathological features as well as prognosis. There is paucity of glioma epidemiology data in Zimbabwe. We carried out a study to determine the landscape, presentation, and characteristics of brain gliomas in Zimbabwe. Materials and Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted in Zimbabwe over a 2 years period to determine descriptive epidemiological data with regards to demographic distribution, presentation, and tumor characteristics. Consecutive patients from across the country with brain gliomas were recruited in the study. Results: A total of 112 brain tumors were diagnosed histologically. Of these 43.8% (n = 49) were gliomas and hence recruited in the study. The mean age of study participants was 40.3 years (standard deviation = 23.1 years), range 3–83 years. Male to female ratio (M:F) was 1:1. The study population consisted of 14% caucasians (n = 7), 83.7% black (n = 41), and 2% (n = 1) were of mixed race. Eighty-six percent (n = 42) of participants were from urban areas. The most common presenting complaint was headache in 87.8% (n = 43). The majority (61.2%) presented with a Karnofsky score ≥70%. Astrocytomas were the most common gliomas constituting 57.1% (n = 28), followed by ependymomas and oligodendrogliomas being 8.1% (n = 4) each. There was no statistical difference in the hemisphere of the brain involved (P = 0.475). Eight percent of the population were HIV positive (n = 4). Age above 60 years has an adjusted odds ratio of 13 for presenting with high-grade tumors. Conclusion: There is a disproportionately high number of gliomas among Caucasians, urban dwellers, and those gainfully employed. The prevalence of HIV in glioma patients is less than that of the general population.


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