To examine long-term hearing outcomes after microsurgical excision of vestibular schwannoma
Retrospective case review.
Tertiary referral center.
Forty-nine subjects at a single institution who had undergone microsurgical excision of a VS via middle cranial fossa (MCF) approach between 1994 and 2007 with immediate postoperative (PO) hearing preservation
and for whom long-term audiograms were available.
Main Outcome Measures:
Word Recognition Score (WRS) is defined by speech discrimination scores (SDS) greater than 70% (grade I), 50% to 70% (grade II), less than 50% (grade III), and 0% (grade IV).
For subjects with more than 2 years of follow-up, WRS I hearing was present PO in 42 of 49 patients and was preserved at the latest follow-up in 38 (90%) of 42 patients. No subjects fell beyond WRS II. WRS I hearing was maintained in 23 (88%) of 26 patients with more than 5 years of follow-up. Postoperative WRS I to II hearing was maintained in 28 (96%) of 29 patients with more than 5 years of follow-up. The patient who lost significant hearing in the ear operated on had sensorineural hearing loss that paralleled deterioration in her ear that was not operated on.
Most subjects maintain their initial PO SDS after microsurgical VS removal, and therefore, the initial PO WRS is predictive of long-term hearing. Postsurgical changes do not alter the natural rate or pattern of progressive bilateral sensorineural hearing loss in individual subjects.