Preservation of hearing in surgery for acoustic neuromas

J Neurosurg. 1993 Jun;78(6):864-70. doi: 10.3171/jns.1993.78.6.0864.


Preservation of hearing was attempted in 161 cases of histologically confirmed acoustic neuroma removed by the senior author between January 1, 1970, and September 30, 1991. There were 136 patients with unilateral tumors; 22 patients had bilateral tumors (neurofibromatosis 2) and underwent a total of 25 procedures. Hearing was initially preserved in 35% of patients with unilateral tumors and in 44% of those with bilateral tumors. Results are reported in terms of pre- and postoperative pure tone average and speech discrimination scores. Surgical access to the tumor was obtained via middle cranial fossa and suboccipital approaches. The latter has been used more often over the past 5 years because of a lower associated incidence of transient facial paresis. Persistent postoperative headaches have been the most common complication following the suboccipital approach. The results of preoperative brain-stem auditory evoked response (BAER) studies were useful in predicting the outcome of hearing preservation attempts. Patients with intact BAER waveform morphology and normal or delayed latencies had a higher probability of hearing preservation in comparison to those with abnormal preoperative BAER morphology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory
  • Female
  • Headache / etiology
  • Hearing / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurofibromatosis 2 / surgery*
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Speech Perception