Natural history of hearing deterioration in intracanalicular vestibular schwannoma
SourceNeurosurgery, 68, 1, (2011), pp. 68-77
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectDCN 1: Perception and Action; ONCOL 5: Aetiology, screening and detection
BACKGROUND: Intracanalicular vestibular schwannomas have a range of treatment options that can preserve hearing: microsurgery, stereotactic radiotherapy, and conservative observation. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the natural course of hearing deterioration during a period of conservative observation. METHODS: A retrospective case review was performed on 47 patients with a unilateral intracanalicular vestibular schwannoma. Evaluation of growth was monitored by repeat MRI scanning. Repeated pure-tone and speech audiometry results were evaluated for subgroups of patients showing growth or no growth and by subsite location of tumor in the internal auditory canal. RESULTS: Patients had a mean follow-up of 3.6 years. Over the entire population, the pure-tone average thresholds at 0.5, 1, 2, and 3 kHz and the word recognition scores both significantly deteriorated from 38 to 51 dB HL, and from 66% to 55%, respectively. Overall, 74% of subjects with good hearing, according to the 50/50 rule, maintained hearing above this rule. There were no significant differences in hearing loss by subsite in the internal auditory canal (porus, fundus, central) or by growth status (stable, growing, shrinking). Only 6 patients showed a large hearing change. This happened early during follow-up, with relatively stable hearing after this. CONCLUSION: Hearing will deteriorate in some intracanalicular vestibular schwannomas, regardless of tumor growth. Hearing deterioration, if on a large scale, most likely occurs early in follow-up. The present results using conservative management in these tumors appear similar to those reported for stereotactic radiotherapy or microsurgery.
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