Vestibular schwannoma: Role of conservative management

Department of Otolaryngology, Manchester Royal Infirmary and Hope Hospital, Salford, UK.
The Journal of Laryngology & Otology (Impact Factor: 0.67). 12/2009; 124(3):251-7. DOI: 10.1017/S0022215109992362
Source: PubMed


To assess the outcome of conservative management of vestibular schwannoma.
Observational study.
Tertiary referral centre.
Four hundred and thirty-six patients with vestibular schwannoma (490 tumours), including 327 sporadic tumours and 163 tumours in 109 patients with neurofibromatosis type two.
The relationship of tumour growth to tumour size at presentation, and to certain demographic features.
The initial tumour size was significantly larger in the neurofibromatosis type two group (11 mm) than in the sporadic vestibular schwannoma group (5.1 mm). In both groups, 68 per cent of tumours did not grow during follow up (mean 3.6 years; range one to 14 years). The mean growth rate was 1.1 mm/year (range 0-15 mm/year) for sporadic tumours and 1.7 mm/year (range 0-18 mm/year) for neurofibromatosis type two tumours. The tumour growth rate correlated positively with tumour size in the sporadic tumour group, and correlated negatively with age in the neurofibromatosis type two group.
Two-thirds of vestibular schwannomas did not grow. Radiological surveillance is an acceptable approach in carefully selected patients. Once a sporadic vestibular schwannoma reaches 2 cm in intracranial diameter, it is likely to continue growing. We do not recommend conservative management for sporadic tumours with an intracranial diameter of 1.5 cm or more. Vestibular schwannoma management is more complex in patients with neurofibromatosis type two.

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