Acoustic tumor growth: implications for treatment choices

Am J Otol. 1999 Jul;20(4):495-9.


Background: Knowledge of acoustic neuroma (AN) growth is essential for treatment planning.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of 119 patients with AN (mean age, 65 years; range, 37-84 years) followed with interval magnetic resonance imagings (MRIs) was performed. Change in maximum tumor dimension as a function of follow-up period was analyzed.

Results: Overall, maximum tumor dimension increased >2 mm in only 30% of patients. Of those that grew, the mean growth rate was 3.8 mm/year (maximum, 25 mm/year). Age, gender, and laterality did not predict growth. Most tumors that grew (86.1 %) were <20 mm at presentation. However, tumors >20 mm were statistically more likely to grow (71%, p =0.028).

Conclusions: Most ANs followed with periodic MRIs do not grow. Available clinical information usually cannot predict growth. Serial MRIs are advocated for all patients treated with observation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Choice Behavior
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cranial Nerve Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cranial Nerve Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging*
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / pathology*
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vestibulocochlear Nerve / pathology*