Endolymphatic sac tumor: single-institution series of seven cases with updated review of literature

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2021 Aug 19. doi: 10.1007/s00405-021-07047-2. Online ahead of print.


Background: Endolymphatic sac tumour (ELST) is a rare low-grade locally aggressive neoplasm arising from the endolymphatic duct or sac. It presents mostly with vestibulo-cochlear symptoms either sporadically or as part of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome. Micro-neurosurgical excision remains the cornerstone of therapy with the role of radiotherapy (RT) being controversial. This is a clinico-pathological analysis of consecutive ELST patients presenting to a single-institution in India.

Methods: Neuropathology database of a tertiary-care comprehensive cancer centre was searched electronically to identify consecutive patients with histopathological diagnosis of ELST registered at the institute over last one decade. Data regarding demographic profile, clinical presentation, histopathological features, treatment details and outcomes were retrieved from electronic medical records for this retrospective analysis.

Results: Electronic search identified seven unique patients with biopsy-proven ELST registered at the institute between 2009 and 2020. Median age of the study cohort was 39 years (range 24-65 years) with strong male predilection (5:2 ratio) and left-sided preponderance (71%). Most common presenting symptoms were hearing loss (86%) and earache (71%) on affected side followed by headache (43%). All patients underwent maximal safe resection at initial diagnosis and were followed-up closely with periodic surveillance imaging. Two patients underwent salvage RT using high-precision conformal techniques at recurrence/progression.

Conclusion: ELST is a rare low-grade locally aggressive neoplasm that arises generally as part of VHL syndrome or sometimes sporadically. Gross total resection provides the best chance of cure with RT being reserved for unresectable disease, large residue, medical inoperability, or as salvage therapy for recurrent/progressive tumor.

Keywords: Endolymphatic sac tumor; Familial; Histopathology; Management; Sporadic.