Neurosurgery, Volume 85, (4), October 2019, 550–559
An understanding of the hearing outcomes is needed for treatment counseling for patients with vestibular schwannomas (VS).
OBJECTIVE: To determine long-term hearing results following stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for VS and identify any influential variables.
METHODS: Tertiary hospital retrospective cohort.
RESULTS: There were 579 tumors (576 patients) treated with SRS. Eighty-two percent (473) of tumors had ≥1 yr and 59% (344 ≥3 yr follow-up. In the 244 tumor ears, with measurable hearing before SRS who were followed ≥1 yr, 14% (31) had improved hearing, 13% (29) unchanged hearing, and 74% (158) had worsened hearing. In 175 patients with ≥3 yr followup and who had measurable hearing pretreatment, 6% (11 ears) improved hearing, 31% (54 ears) unchanged hearing, and 63% (110 ears) had worsened hearing. Patients with tumors with larger target volumes (P = 0.040) and with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2; P = 0.017) were associated with poorer hearing (P = 0.040). Patients with word recognition scores (WRS) of 50% or poorer had tumors with a larger volume (P = 0.0002), larger linear size (P=0.032),andNF2(P=0.045).TraditionallyreportedhearingoutcomesusingtheGardner RobertsonmaintenanceofPTA ≤50dborWRS≥50%were48%at3yr,whichoverestimates hearing outcomes compared to the above reporting standards.
CONCLUSION: Hearing declines over time in VS treated with SRS in a high proportion of cases. The frequency and magnitude of long-term hearing decline following SRS argues against prophylactic radiation for small tumors in hearing ears with undetermined growth behavior.