O.S. Michael

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria


The “Adeloye-Odeku disease, or congenital dermoid cysts over the anterior fontanelle, is a rare congenital disorder of children initially described at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria. The disease is a congenital midline occipital cystic swelling of the head that is operated upon by Neurosurgeons. The case reports by Latunde Odeku and Adelola Adeloye spurred many similar reports from other countries. The report of the disease by the Nigerian Neurosurgeons counts among the world’s most famous case reports.


Dr. S.O. Michael
Dept. of Pharmacology and Therapeutics
College of Medicine
University of Ibadan, Nigeria
E-mail: micobaro@gmail.com

Medical Case Report

A medical case report is a detailed description of symptoms, signs, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of an individual patient. Case reports may contain a demographic profile of the patient, but usually describe an unusual or novel occurrence. Some case reports may also contain a literature review of other reported cases. Case reports are professional narratives that provide feedback on clinical practice guidelines and offer a framework for early signals of effectiveness, adverse events, and cost. They can be shared for medical, scientific, or educational purposes. Different types of case reports include an unexpected association between diseases or symptoms, an unexpected event in the course of observing or treating a patient, findings that shed new light on the possible pathogenesis of a disease or an adverse effect, unique or rare features of a disease, unique therapeutic approaches, and a positional or quantitative variation of the anatomical structures. Odeku, Nigeria’s first Neurosurgeon, reported a massive subaponeurotic inclusion cyst in a Nigerian in 1967.1 In 1971, Adeloye and Odeku reported the abnormality in 18 Nigerians.2 This condition became known as the Adeloye-Odeku disease.

Adelola Adeloye and E. Latunde Odeku Latunde Odeku was born on 29 June, 1927 to the family of Deacon and Mrs Ladipo Odeku. He began his education in 1932 at St Aroloya School, Lagos. From there he gained admission to the prestigious Methodist Boys’ High School, Lagos. A serious minded and brilliant student, he completed his studies in record time. He proceeded to study Medicine at Howard University, North America. In 1955, he returned to Nigeria briefly as a medical officer at the Lagos General Hospital before proceeding to Postgraduate School of Medicine, University of Michigan, to study Neurosurgery. During that period, he worked on the muscle tonus in macaque monkeys. All through his training and career he displayed extreme competence and expertise. He was by every measure a fine surgeon and a gentleman. In July 1960, as a visiting foreign scientist, he took up Neuropathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Walter Reed Army Medical Centre, Washington DC. It was in 1960 that he intensified efforts towards returning to Nigeria to set up a Neurosurgery unit.

In the same year (Nigeria’s historic year of 1960), Adelola Adeloye graduated from the medical school of Nigeria’s premier University, the University of Ibadan. Born to the family of Chief and Mrs. Ebenezer Ajayi Adeloye at Ilesha in Nigeria, Adelola Adeloye started school in 1941 at St. Paul’s CMS Anglican Primary School, Ikole. He later attended Christ’s School, Ado Ekiti and proceeded to the University College, Ibadan to study Medicine. On graduation, he went to the United Kingdom and United States for postgraduate medical studies, becoming a most distinguished Neurosurgeon. On completion of postgraduate training, he returned to Nigeria to join the Neurosurgery Unit of the University of Ibadan and the University College Hospital, Ibadan, headed by Prof Latunde Odeku. Adeloye met Odeku in 1967; the union of the two intellectual giants shaped the terrain of Neurosurgery not only in Nigeria but in the entire continent of Africa. In 1965 and 1967, in case reports published in the Ghana Medical Journal, Odeku described “a certain peculiar solitary cyst not infrequently present in the midline over the anterior fontanel in the infant”.1,3 This was the beginning of a chain of case reports on curious subgaleal cysts now known as the Adeloye-Odeku disease.