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Lymphoreticular diseases in Nigerians

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Background: The lymphoreticular system plays a major role in both the innate and adaptive immune responses. This study reviews retrospectively cases of lymphoreticular diseases seen at a tertiary institution in Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study in which biopsies from the bone marrow, spleen, lymph nodes and extranodal lymphoid tissues reported within a period of 16 years were reviewed with respect to age, sex and pathological diagnosis. Statistical analysis was performed for differences in proportion using Chi square by SPSS version 12. Results: Nine hundred and forty four cases comprising 559 biopsies from lymph nodes and extranodal lymphoid tissues, 272 bone marrow biopsies and 113 spleen biopsies were studied. Non Hodgkin\'s lymphoma (NHL) and tuberculosis were the most common lesions in lymph nodes and extranodal lymphoid tissues. The axillary and cervical nodes accounted for most cases of metastasis. Breast cancer accounted for the majority of metastasis to lymph nodes. The most common pathological changes in bone marrow were NHL and reactive hyperplasia. Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) had the highest mean age, which was significantly higher than in those with NHL (p=.001, 95% confidence interval -27.91 to -7.76). The most common finding in the spleen was splenic rupture and haemoperitoneum from road traffic accident. Conclusion: NHL and tuberculosis should be high on the list of differential diagnosis of lymphadenopathy in Nigerians. Whereas trauma from RTA was the major reason for splenectomy in Nigerians, in the elderly splenic biopsy would likely show CLL. African Health Science Vol. 8 (1) 2008: pp. 20-24

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