Audiovestibular symptoms and facial nerve function comparing microsurgery versus SRS for vestibular schwannomas

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:3221–3233

Surgery and radiosurgery represent the most common treatment options forcvestibular schwannoma. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to compare the outcomes of surgery versus stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).

Methods The Cochrane library, PubMed, Embase, and were searched through 01/2021 to find all studies on surgical and stereotactic procedures performed to treat vestibular schwannoma. Using a random-effects model, pooled odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) comparing post- to pre-intervention were derived for pre-post studies, and pooled incidence of adverse events post-intervention were calculated for case series and stratified by intervention type.

Results Twenty-one studies (18 pre-post design; three case series) with 987 patients were included in the final analysis. Comparing post- to pre-intervention, both surgery (OR: 3.52, 95%CI 2.13, 5.81) and SRS (OR: 3.30, 95%CI 1.39, 7.80) resulted in greater odds of hearing loss, lower odds of dizziness (surgery OR: 0.10; 95%CI 0.02, 0.47 vs. SRS OR: 0.22; 95%CI 0.05, 0.99), and tinnitus (surgery OR: 0.23; 95%CI 0.00, 37.9; two studies vs. SRS OR: 0.11; 95%CI 0.01, 1.07; one study). Pooled incidence of facial symmetry loss was larger post-surgery (14.3%, 95%CI 6.8%, 22.7%) than post-SRS (7%, 95%CI 1%, 36%). Tumor control was larger in the surgery (94%, 95%CI 83%, 98%) than the SRS group (80%, 95%CI 31%, 97%) for small-to-medium size tumors.

Conclusion Both surgery and SRS resulted in similar odds of hearing loss and similar improvements in dizziness and tinnitus among patients with vestibular schwannoma; however, facial symmetry loss appeared higher post-surgery.