Objective: Guidelines for appropriate management of vestibular schwannomas in NF2 patients are controversial. In this paper we reviewed our experience with patients with NF2 for the results of surgical treatment with particular reference to hearing and facial nerve preservation.
Methods: We included in the study 30 patients (16 women and 14 men) with the diagnosis of NF2 treated in our department between 1998 and 2014 who underwent surgery for vestibular schwannoma removal with a follow-up for at least 1 year. In 3 cases, the vestibular schwannomas were unilateral. Six patients with bilateral vestibular schwannomas underwent unilateral procedure. Therefore, 51 acoustic tumors were studied in 30 patients.
Results: No operative death we noted. Significant deterioration to the non-functional level occurred in 19 out of 22 cases with well-preserved preoperative hearing. Only three ears maintained their preoperative good hearing. Hearing was preserved in cases of small schwannoma not exceeding 2 cm. Among 21 patients who underwent bilateral operations hearing was preserved in 3 out of 7 cases when smaller tumor or better hearing level side was attempted at first surgery. In contrary none of the 14 patients retained hearing when the first operation concerned the worse-hearing ear. Among 14 tumors up to 2 cm there was only one case of moderately severe facial nerve dysfunction (House-Brackmann Grade IV) in the long follow-up.
Conclusion: Early surgical intervention for vestibular schwannoma in NF2 patient is a viable management strategy to maintain hearing function and preserve facial nerve function.
Keywords: Hearing preservation; Neurofibromatosis type 2; Surgical management; Vestibular schwannoma.
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