The natural history of untreated sporadic vestibular schwannomas: a comprehensive review of hearing outcomes.
ABSTRACT Observation is an important consideration when discussing management options for patients with vestibular schwannoma (VS). Most data regarding clinical outcomes after conservative management come from modestsized series performed at individual centers. The authors performed an analysis of the published literature on the natural history of VSs with respect to hearing outcome. Their objective was to provide a comprehensive and unbiased description of outcomes in patients whose disease was managed conservatively.
The authors identified a total of 34 published studies containing hearing outcome data in patients with VSs < 25 mm in largest diameter who underwent observation management. The effects of initial tumor size and tumor growth rate on hearing function at latest follow-up were analyzed. Data from individual and aggregated cases were extracted from each study. Patients with poorer hearing (American Association of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Classes C or D, or Gardner-Robertson Classes III, IV, or V) at the time of presentation were excluded.
A total of 982 patients met the inclusion criteria for this analysis, with a mean initial tumor size of 11.3 +/- 0.68 mm. The mean growth rate was 2.9 +/- 1.2 mm/year. The length of follow-up for these studies ranged from 26 to 52 months. Patients with preserved hearing at latest follow-up had a statistically larger initial tumor size than those whose hearing declined during the observation period (11.5 +/- 2.3 mm vs 9.3 +/- 2.7 mm, p < 0.0001), but the 2-mm difference of means was at the limit of imaging resolution and observer reliability. In contrast, patients with lower rates of tumor growth (<or= 2.5 mm/year) had markedly higher rates of hearing preservation (75 vs 32%, p < 0.0001) compared with patients with higher tumor growth rates. Interestingly, the authors' analysis found no difference in the rate of reported intervention for patients in either group (16 vs 18%, p = not significant).
These data suggest that a growth rate of > 2.5 mm/year is a better predictor of hearing loss than the initial tumor size for patients undergoing observation management of VSs < 25 mm in largest diameter.
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ABSTRACT: Object Management of small acoustic neuromas (ANs) consists of 3 options: observation with imaging follow-up, radiosurgery, and/or tumor removal. The authors report the long-term outcomes and preservation of function after retrosigmoid tumor removal in 44 patients and clarify the management paradigm for small ANs. Methods A total of 44 consecutively enrolled patients with small ANs and preserved hearing underwent retrosigmoid tumor removal in an attempt to preserve hearing and facial function by use of intraoperative auditory monitoring of auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) and cochlear nerve compound action potentials (CNAPs). All patients were younger than 70 years of age, had a small AN (purely intracanalicular/cerebellopontine angle tumor ≤ 15 mm), and had serviceable hearing preoperatively. According to the guidelines of the Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, preoperative hearing levels of the 44 patients were as follows: Class A, 19 patients; Class B, 17; and Class C, 8. The surgical technique for curative tumor removal with preservation of hearing and facial function included sharp dissection and debulking of the tumor, reconstruction of the internal auditory canal, and wide removal of internal auditory canal dura. Results For all patients, tumors were totally removed without incidence of facial palsy, death, or other complications. Total tumor removal was confirmed by the first postoperative Gd-enhanced MRI performed 12 months after surgery. Postoperative hearing levels were Class A, 5 patients; Class B, 21; Class C, 11; and Class D, 7. Postoperatively, serviceable (Class A, B, or C) and useful (Class A or B) levels of hearing were preserved for 84% and 72% of patients, respectively. Better preoperative hearing resulted in higher rates of postoperative hearing preservation (p = 0.01); preservation rates were 95% among patients with preoperative Class A hearing, 88% among Class B, and 50% among Class C. Reliable monitoring was more frequently provided by CNAPs than by ABRs (66% vs 32%, p < 0.01), and consistently reliable auditory monitoring was significantly associated with better rates of preservation of useful hearing. Long-term follow-up by MRI with Gd administration (81 ± 43 months [range 5-181 months]; median 7 years) showed no tumor recurrence, and although the preserved hearing declined minimally over the long-term postoperative follow-up period (from 39 ± 15 dB to 45 ± 11 dB in 5.1 ± 3.1 years), 80% of useful hearing and 100% of serviceable hearing remained at the same level. Conclusions As a result of a surgical technique that involved sharp dissection and internal auditory canal reconstruction with intraoperative auditory monitoring, retrosigmoid removal of small ANs can lead to successful curative tumor removal without long-term recurrence and with excellent functional outcome. Thus, the authors suggest that tumor removal should be the first-line management strategy for younger patients with small ANs and preserved hearing.Journal of Neurosurgery 07/2014; · 3.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Purpose Vestibular schwannomas (VS) are often followed without initial therapeutic intervention because many tumors do not grow and radiation therapy is associated with potential adverse effects. In an effort to determine whether maximizing initial surveillance predicts for later treatment response, the predictive value of preirradiation growth rate of VS on response to radiation therapy was assessed. Methods and Materials Sixty-four patients with 65 VS were treated with single-fraction stereotactic radiation surgery or fractionated stereotactic radiation therapy. Pre- and postirradiation linear expansion rates were estimated using volumetric measurements on sequential magnetic resonance images (MRIs). In addition, postirradiation tumor volume change was classified as demonstrating shrinkage (ratio of volume on last follow-up MRI to MRI immediately preceding irradiation <80%), stability (ratio 80%-120%), or expansion (ratio >120%). The median pre- and postirradiation follow-up was 20.0 and 27.5 months, respectively. Seven tumors from neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) patients were excluded from statistical analyses. Results In the 58 non-NF2 patients, there was a trend of correlation between pre- and postirradiation volume change rates (slope on linear regression, 0.29; P=.06). Tumors demonstrating postirradiation expansion had a median preirradiation growth rate of 89%/year, and those without postirradiation expansion had a median preirradiation growth rate of 41%/year (P=.02). As the preirradiation growth rate increased, the probability of postirradiation expansion also increased. Overall, 24.1% of tumors were stable, 53.4% experienced shrinkage, and 22.5% experienced expansion. Predictors of no postirradiation tumor expansion included no prior surgery (P=.01) and slower tumor growth rate (P=.02). The control of tumors in NF2 patients was only 43%. Conclusions Radiation therapy is an effective treatment for VS, but tumors that grow quickly preirradiation may be more likely to increase in size. Clinicians should take into account tumor growth rate when counseling patients about treatment options.International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 05/2014; 89(1):113–119. · 4.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective: To study the natural course of vestibular schwannomas 15 to 31 mm in diameter. Methods: A retrospective study of 45 patients conservatively managed with interval scanning was performed. Outcome measures were: changes in tumour size, clinical features and hearing. A tumour was considered to be growing if it increased in size by more than 2 mm. Results: Initial tumour sizes ranged from 15 to 31 mm, with a mean (± standard deviation) diameter of 20.1 ± 4.3 mm. The duration of follow up ranged from 6 months to 14 years (median, 3 years). Tumours grew in 11 cases (24.4 per cent), remained stable in 30 cases (66.7 per cent) and regressed in 4 cases (8.9 per cent). The overall mean tumour growth rate was 0.9 ± 2.2 mm per year; in growing tumours, it was 3.6 ± 2.9 mm per year. Conclusion: Outcomes were similar to those reported for smaller tumours. These findings suggest that patients with medium or moderately large tumours can be safely offered an initial period of conservative management before intervention is considered.The Journal of Laryngology & Otology 08/2014; · 0.70 Impact Factor