Facial nerve injury in acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) surgery: etiology and prevention.

Department of Neurological Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland 21287-7709, USA.
Journal of Neurosurgery (Impact Factor: 3.23). 08/1997; 87(1):60-6. DOI: 10.3171/jns.1997.87.1.0060
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Facial nerve injury associated with acoustic neuroma surgery has declined in incidence but remains a clinical concern. A retrospective analysis of 611 patients surgically treated for acoustic neuroma between 1973 and 1994 was undertaken to understand patterns of facial nerve injury more clearly and to identify factors that influence facial nerve outcome. Anatomical preservation of the facial nerve was achieved in 596 patients (97.5%). In the immediate postoperative period, 62.1% of patients displayed normal or near-normal facial nerve function (House-Brackmann Grade 1 or 2). This number rose to 85.3% of patients at 6 months after surgery and by 1 year, 89.7% of patients who had undergone acoustic neuroma surgery demonstrated normal or near-normal facial nerve function. The surgical approach appeared to have no effect on the incidence of facial nerve injury. Poor facial nerve outcome (House-Brackmann Grade 5 or 6) was seen in 1.58% of patients treated via the suboccipital approach and in 2.6% of patients treated via the translabyrinthine approach. When facial nerve outcome was examined with respect to tumor size, there clearly was an increased incidence of facial nerve palsy seen in the immediate postoperative period in cases of larger tumors: 60.8% of patients with tumors smaller than 2.5 cm had normal facial nerve function, whereas only 37.5% of patients with tumors larger than 4 cm had normal function. This difference was less pronounced, however, 6 months after surgery, when 92.1% of patients with tumors smaller than 2.5 cm had normal or near normal facial function, versus 75% of patients with tumors larger than 4 cm. The etiology of facial nerve injury is discussed with emphasis on the pathophysiology of facial nerve palsy. In addition, on the basis of the authors' experience with these complex tumors, techniques of preventing facial nerve injury are discussed.

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    ABSTRACT: Background. The aim of this study was to analyze complications of vestibular schwannoma (VS) microsurgery. Material and Methods. A retrospective study was performed in 333 patients with unilateral vestibular schwannoma indicated for surgical treatment between January 1997 and December 2012. Postoperative complications were assessed immediately after VS surgery as well as during outpatient followup. Results. In all 333 patients microsurgical vestibular schwannoma (Koos grade 1: 12, grade 2: 34, grade 3: 62, and grade 4: 225) removal was performed. The main neurological complication was facial nerve dysfunction. The intermediate and poor function (HB III-VI) was observed in 124 cases (45%) immediately after surgery and in 104 cases (33%) on the last followup. We encountered disordered vestibular compensation in 13%, permanent trigeminal nerve dysfunction in 1%, and transient lower cranial nerves (IX-XI) deficit in 6%. Nonneurological complications included CSF leakage in 63% (lateral/medial variant: 99/1%), headache in 9%, and intracerebral hemorrhage in 5%. We did not encounter any case of meningitis. Conclusions. Our study demonstrates that despite the benefits of advanced high-tech equipment, refined microsurgical instruments, and highly developed neuroimaging technologies, there are still various and significant complications associated with vestibular schwannomas microsurgery.
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    ABSTRACT: Gamma knife radiosurgery is commonly used for the care of patients with vestibular schwannomas. However, long-term results regarding prevention of tumor growth, avoidance of new neurological deficits, and associated morbidity is limited. Our purpose was to evaluate long term outcomes of patients who underwent stereotactic gamma knife radiosurgery for vestibular schwannoma by assessing clinical and imaging outcomes. We reviewed the records of 78 consecutive patients who underwent gamma knife stereotactic radiosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for a vestibular schwannoma between 1987 and 1989. The patient population consisted of 33 (42%) men and 45 (58%) women at a median age of 59 years (range, 15 to 83 years). Three (4%) patients had a prior subtotal resection, 13 (17%) had a prior total resection, and no patient had a prior history of radiation therapy. Twelve patients were diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type II but had only one tumor irradiated. The median
    World Science. 01/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: Objective The aim of our study was to identify the radiological and clinical factors that predict postoperative facial nerve outcome following retrosigmoid approach for large vestibular schwannomas (VSs). Methods A total of 72 patients with large (≥ 3 cm) vestibular schwannomas was included in this retrospective study. Various parameters evaluated were age, gender, clinical presentation, tumor diameter in three planes, intrameatal extension, and pattern of growth. Results Age of the patient and presenting symptoms such as headache, ataxia, or preoperative facial nerve dysfunction correlated with poorer facial nerve outcome (p < 0.05). Patients with larger tumor volumes and extrameatal growth experienced a worse outcome (p < 0.05). Anterior and caudal extension (p = 0.001) correlated with poorer outcome, as well. Intrameatal extension and bony changes of the internal acoustic meatus did not correlate with the outcome (p > 0.05). Of the various examined factors, preoperative facial nerve function independently predicted postoperative facial nerve outcome. Conclusion Our study suggests that young patients with small tumor volume and normal facial nerve function at presentation are more likely to experience a good postoperative facial nerve outcome. These clinical and radiological parameters can be used to predict facial nerve outcome prior to surgery.
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