Meningioma of the internal auditory canal

Am J Otol. 1990 May;11(3):201-4.


The great majority of tumors that arise in the internal auditory canal are schwannomas of the eighth cranial nerve (acoustic neuromas). Meningiomas constitute the second largest group of posterior fossa tumors. Meningiomas arise from arachnoid villae, the apparatus responsible for cerebrospinal fluid absorption, in proximity to a major vein or dural sinus in most cases. Arachnoid villae are also present along neural foramena at the base of the skull. They have been observed histologically in the internal auditory canal (IAC), and are the probable site of origin of meningiomas in this location. Larger cerebellopontine angle meningiomas occasionally possess a significant intracanalicular component; however, these lesions usually originate from the meningeal lining of the posterior petrous face adjacent to the sigmoid, superior petrosal, or inferior petrosal sinuses and prolapse into the IAC. Two meningiomas have recently been observed that extensively involved the IAC, one of which arose from the lining of the IAC. The clinical manifestations of these meningiomas mimicked those of acoustic neuromas. Preoperative radiographic studies, including magnetic resonance imaging, were unable to differentiate these from acoustic neuromas. Meningiomas have a higher rate of recurrence than acoustic neuromas and should be excised with surrounding dura and several millimeters of subjacent bone. Meningiomas that extensively involve the IAC have a tendency to invade the inner ear and the deeper portions of the temporal bone. In meningiomas that involve the lateral portion of the IAC, consideration should be given to exenteration of the cochlea and semicircular canals.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Ear Neoplasms / etiology
  • Ear Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Ear Neoplasms / surgery
  • Humans
  • Labyrinth Diseases / etiology
  • Labyrinth Diseases / pathology*
  • Labyrinth Diseases / surgery
  • Male
  • Meningioma / etiology
  • Meningioma / pathology*
  • Meningioma / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / diagnosis