An audit of Paediatric Orofacial Lesions at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Moshi, Tanzania
Chindia, M L
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Objective: To audit and categorize pathological lesions and conditions that occurred in the orofacial region among children aged up to 15 yrs. Setting: Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Moshi, Tanzania. Design: Retrospective cross-sectional audit based on archival records and material between 1985 to 2005. Results: Biopsy results were generated into 11 categories whence most common lesions encountered were in the ca- tegories of soft tissue benign neoplasms (35.1%) and soft tissue malignant neoplasms (21.8%). Remarkably, Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL) in the category of malignant soft tissue neoplasia constituted 11.8% of all the le-sions biopsied while haemangiomas and tuberculous adenitis comprised 8.1% and 3.8% respectively. The age groups revealed the highest burden (37.1%) among the 0 to 5-year-olds followed by the 11 to 15-(34.5%) and 6 to 10-year-olds (28.4%). The orofacial site distribution among the 211 biopsied cases included 62.1% in the mandibular 29.9% in the maxillary region and 8% in the tongue areas. Malignant neoplasms of the bone were rare and all were diagnosed in the mandible. Overall, malignant neoplasms of soft tissue were significantly more in the age group of 6 - 10 years as well as in males than females. On the other hand, sig-nificantly more benign soft tissue neoplasms occurred in females than in males. Main Outcome Measure: There is great diversity and preponderance of soft tissue than skeletal orofacial lesions on the present audit. Significantly, clinicians should maintain high index of suspicion regarding the remarkably high frequency of diagnosing BL and tuberculous lymphadenitis in such a population in this era of HIV infection/AIDS.