Surgical outcomes of pediatric brain tumors in Sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review

Vendela Herdell, Philipp Lassarén, Frederick A Boop, Jiri Bartek, Enoch O Uche, Magnus Tisell


Background: Pediatric Brain Tumors (PBT) are a common cause of cancer-related mortality globally. Contrary to high-income countries (HIC), survival rates in low-and-middle income countries (LMIC) remains low despite advances in neurosurgical care and diagnostics over the past decades. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate the surgical outcomes for PBT in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the distribution of PBT types.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted on PubMed, for all available literature on the surgical outcomes of PBT in Sub-Saharan Africa, published before May 3, 2022. Two reviewers performed abstract, full text screening and data collection independently, resolving any conflicts by consensus.

Results: The search yielded 256 studies, of which 22 met the inclusion criteria, amounting to a total of 243 patients. Nigeria was the country with most data. Only subgroups of patients could be extracted from 12 studies, and variables of interest in 6 studies had inconsistent sample sizes. The age centered around 9 years, and there were approximately equal number of girls and boys. The most common tumor was medulloblastoma, followed by craniopharyngioma and astrocytoma. There was large heterogeneity in the reporting of outcomes, and a trend was difficult to discern, considering the large number of different tumor types and different extents of resection.

Discussion and conclusion: Data is insufficient and inconsistent, precluding statistical conclusions. There is a need for more studies in the field.

TidsskriftBrain & spine
Sider (fra-til)100912
StatusUdgivet - 2022


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