Two hundred and seventy-one Japanese patients who underwent surgical removal of neuroma from the cerebello-pontine angle using the translabyrinthine approach were retrospectively reviewed in order to investigate the nerve origin on an anatomical basis. In 269 out of the 271 cases, the origin of the neuromas was identified. Among these cases, 84.8 per cent of tumours originated from the inferior vestibular nerve (IVN), followed by the superior vestibular nerve (SVN) (8.9 per cent). Of the 5.6 per cent of tumours arising from the vestibular nerve, however, it could not be determined whether they originated from the SVN or IVN. Two cases of neuromas originating from the facial nerve were seen (0.7 per cent). No neuroma arose from the cochlear nerve. Currently, the diagnosis of acoustic neuromas is best made with Gd-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, our data indicate that the development of a functional test of the individual IVN can be useful for screening most cases of acoustic neuroma and in facilitating their early diagnosis.