Postoperative Hearing Preservation in Patients Undergoing Retrosigmoid Craniotomy for Resection of Vestibular Schwannomas: A Systematic Review of 2034 Patients

Neurosurgery 2019 DOI:10.1093/neuros/nyz147

Vestibular schwannomas (VS) are benign tumors derived from Schwann cells ensheathing the vestibulocochlear nerve. The retrosigmoid (RS) surgical approach is useful to resect tumors of multiple sizes while affording the possibility of preserving postoperative hearing.

OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic review of published literature investigating hearing preservation rates in patients who underwent the RS approach for VS treatment.

METHODS: The PubMed, Scopus, and Embase databases were surveyed for studies that reported preoperative and postoperative hearing grades on VS patients who underwent RS treatment. Hearing preservation rates were calculated, and additional patient demographic data were extracted. Tumor size data were stratified to compare hearing preservation rates after surgery for intracanalicular, small (0-20 mm), and large (>20 mm) tumors.

RESULTS: Of 383 deduplicated articles, 26 studies (6.8%) met eligibility criteria for a total of 2034 patients with serviceable preoperative hearing, for whom postoperative hearing status was evaluated. Aggregate hearing preservation was 31% and 35% under a fixed and random effects model, respectively. A mixed effects model was used to determine hearing preservation rates depending on tumor size, which were determined to be 57%, 37%, and 12% for intracanalicular, small, and large tumors, respectively. Significant crossstudy heterogeneity was found (I2 = 93%, τ 2 = .964, P < .01; Q = 287.80, P = < .001), with rates of hearing preservation ranging from 0% to 100%.

CONCLUSION: Tumor size may have an effect on hearing preservation rates, but multiple factors should be considered. Discussion of a patient’s expectations for hearing preservation is critical when deciding on VS treatment plans.

Delayed hearing loss after microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm

Acta Neurochirurgica (2019) 161:503–508

This study aimed to analyze cases of delayed hearing loss after microvascular decompression (MVD) for hemifacial spasm and identify the characteristic features of these patients.

Methods We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 3462 patients who underwent MVD for hemifacial spasm between January 1998 and August 2017.

Results Among these, there were 5 cases in which hearing was normal immediately postoperatively but delayed hearing loss occurred. None of the 5 patients reported any hearing disturbance immediately after the operation. However, they developed hearing problems suddenly after some time (median, 22 days; range 10–45 days). On examination, sensorineural hearing loss was confirmed. High-dose corticosteroid treatment was prescribed. Preoperative hearing levels were restored after several months (median duration from the time of the operation, 45 days; range 22–118 days). Interestingly, the inter-peak latency of waves I–III in the brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP) was prolonged during the surgery, but recovered within a short time.

Conclusion Delayed hearing loss may occur after MVD for HFS. Prolongation of the inter-peak latency of waves I–III seems to be associated with the occurrence of delayed hearing loss. It is possible that BAEP changes may predict delayed hearing loss, but confirmatory evidence is not available as yet. Analysis of more cases is necessary to determine the utility of BAEP monitoring to predict delayed hearing loss after MVD and to identify its exact cause.

Quantitative study of the correlation between cerebellar retraction factors and hearing loss following microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm

Acta Neurochir (2018) 160:145–150

This prospective study quantitatively measured the cerebellar retraction factors, including retraction distance, depth and duration, and evaluated their potential relationship to the development of hearing loss after microvascular decompression (MVD) for hemifacial spasm (HFS).

Methods One hundred ten patients with primary HFS who underwent MVD in our department were included into this study. The cerebellar retraction factors were quantitatively measured on preoperative MR and timed during MVD. Associations of cerebellar retraction and other factors to postoperative hearing loss were analyzed.

Results Eleven (10%) patients developed hearing loss after MVD. Compared with the group without hearing loss, the cerebellar retraction distance, depth and duration of the group with hearing loss were significantly greater (p < 0.05). Multivariate regression analysis showed that greater cerebellar retraction depth and longer retraction duration were significantly associated with a higher incidence of postoperative hearing impairment (p < 0.05).

Conclusion This study strongly suggested a correlation between the cerebellar retraction factors, especially retraction depth and duration, and possibility of hearing loss following MVD for HFS.

 

Medial acoustic neuromas: clinical and surgical implications

Medial VIII schwannoma

J Neurosurg 120:1095–1104, 2014

Medial acoustic neuroma is a rare entity that confers a distinct clinical syndrome. It is scarcely discussed in the literature and is associated with adverse features. This study evaluates the clinical and imaging features, pertinent surgical challenges, and treatment outcome in a large series of this variant. The authors postulate that the particular pathological anatomy with its arachnoidal rearrangement has a profound implication on the surgical technique and outcome.

Methods. The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of 52 cases involving 33 women and 19 men who underwent resection of medial acoustic neuromas performed by the senior author (O.A.) over a 20-year period (1993– 2013). Clinical, radiological, and operative records were reviewed, with a specific focus on the neurological outcomes and facial nerve function and hearing preservation. Intraoperative findings were analyzed with respect to the effect of arachnoidal arrangement on the surgeon’s ability to resect the lesion and the impact on postoperative function.

Results. The average tumor size was 34.5 mm (maximum diameter), with over 90% of tumors being 25 mm or larger and 71% being cystic. Cerebellar, trigeminal nerve, and facial nerve dysfunction were common preoperative findings. Hydrocephalus was present in 11 patients. Distinguishing intraoperative findings included marked tumor adherence to the brainstem and frequent hypervascularity, which prompted intracapsular dissection resulting in enhancement on postoperative MRI in 18 cases, with only 3 demonstrating growth on follow-up. There was no mortality or major postoperative neurological deficit. Cerebrospinal fluid leak was encountered in 7 patients, with 4 requiring surgical repair. Among 45 patients who had intact preoperative facial function, only 1 had permanent facial nerve paralysis on extended follow-up. Of the patients with preoperative Grade I–II facial function, 87% continued to have Grade I–II function on follow-up. Of 10 patients who had Class A hearing preoperatively, 5 continued to have Class A or B hearing after surgery.

Conclusions. Medial acoustic neuromas represent a rare subgroup whose site of origin and growth patterns produce a distinct clinical presentation and present specific operative challenges. They reach giant size and are frequently cystic and hypervascular. Their origin and growth pattern lead to arachnoidal rearrangement with marked adherence against the brainstem, which is critical in the surgical management. Excellent surgical outcome is achievable with a high rate of facial nerve function and attainable hearing preservation. These results suggest that similar or better results may be achieved in less complex tumors.

Surgery for vestibular schwannomas: a systematic review of complications by approach

Neurosurg Focus 33 (3):E14, 2012

Various studies report outcomes of vestibular schwannoma (VS) surgery, but few studies have compared outcomes across the various approaches. The authors conducted a systematic review of the available data on VS surgery, comparing the different approaches and their associated complications.

Methods. MEDLINE searches were conducted to collect studies that reported information on patients undergoing VS surgery. The authors set inclusion criteria for such studies, including the availability of follow-up data for at least 3 months, inclusion of preoperative and postoperative audiometric data, intraoperative monitoring, and reporting of results using established and standardized metrics. Data were collected on hearing loss, facial nerve dysfunction, persistent postoperative headache, CSF leak, operative mortality, residual tumor, tumor recurrence, cranial nerve (CN) dysfunction involving nerves other than CN VII or VIII, and other neurological complications. The authors reviewed data from 35 studies pertaining to 5064 patients who had undergone VS surgery.

Results. The analyses for hearing loss and facial nerve dysfunction were stratified into the following tumor categories: intracanalicular (IC), size (extrameatal diameter) < 1.5 cm, size 1.5–3.0 cm, and size > 3.0 cm. The middle cranial fossa approach was found to be superior to the retrosigmoid approach for hearing preservation in patients with tumors < 1.5 cm (hearing loss in 43.6% vs 64.3%, p < 0.001). All other size categories showed no significant difference between middle cranial fossa and retrosigmoid approaches with respect to hearing loss. The retrosigmoid approach was associated with significantly less facial nerve dysfunction in patients with IC tumors than the middle cranial fossa method was; however, neither differed significantly from the translabyrinthine corridor (4%, 16.7%, 0%, respectively, p < 0.001). The middle cranial fossa approach differed significantly from the translabyrinthine approach for patients with tumors < 1.5 cm, whereas neither differed from the retrosigmoid approach (3.3%, 11.5%, and 7.2%, respectively, p = 0.001). The retrosigmoid approach involved less facial nerve dysfunction than the middle cranial fossa or translabyrinthine approaches for tumors 1.5–3.0 cm (6.1%, 17.3%, and 15.8%, respectively; p < 0.001). The retrosigmoid approach was also superior to the translabyrinthine approach for tumors > 3.0 cm (30.2% vs 42.5%, respectively, p < 0.001). Postoperative headache was significantly more likely after the retrosigmoid approach than after the translabyrinthine approach, but neither differed significantly from the middle cranial fossa approach (17.3%, 0%, and 8%, respectively; p < 0.001). The incidence of CSF leak was significantly greater after the retrosigmoid approach than after either the middle cranial fossa or translabyrinthine approaches (10.3%, 5.3%, 7.1%; p = 0.001). The incidences of residual tumor, mortality, major non-CN complications, residual tumor, tumor recurrence, and dysfunction of other cranial nerves were not significantly different across the approaches.

Conclusions. The middle cranial fossa approach seems safest for hearing preservation in patients with smaller tumors. Based on the data, the retrosigmoid approach seems to be the most versatile corridor for facial nerve preservation for most tumor sizes, but it is associated with a higher risk of postoperative pain and CSF fistula. The translabyrinthine approach is associated with complete hearing loss but may be useful for patients with large tumors and poor preoperative hearing.

Surgery for vestibular schwannomas: a systematic review of complications by approach

Neurosurg Focus 33 (3):E14, 2012

Various studies report outcomes of vestibular schwannoma (VS) surgery, but few studies have compared outcomes across the various approaches. The authors conducted a systematic review of the available data on VS surgery, comparing the different approaches and their associated complications.

Methods. MEDLINE searches were conducted to collect studies that reported information on patients undergoing VS surgery. The authors set inclusion criteria for such studies, including the availability of follow-up data for at least 3 months, inclusion of preoperative and postoperative audiometric data, intraoperative monitoring, and reporting of results using established and standardized metrics. Data were collected on hearing loss, facial nerve dysfunction, persistent postoperative headache, CSF leak, operative mortality, residual tumor, tumor recurrence, cranial nerve (CN) dysfunction involving nerves other than CN VII or VIII, and other neurological complications. The authors reviewed data from 35 studies pertaining to 5064 patients who had undergone VS surgery.

Results. The analyses for hearing loss and facial nerve dysfunction were stratified into the following tumor categories: intracanalicular (IC), size (extrameatal diameter) < 1.5 cm, size 1.5–3.0 cm, and size > 3.0 cm. The middle cranial fossa approach was found to be superior to the retrosigmoid approach for hearing preservation in patients with tumors < 1.5 cm (hearing loss in 43.6% vs 64.3%, p < 0.001). All other size categories showed no significant difference between middle cranial fossa and retrosigmoid approaches with respect to hearing loss. The retrosigmoid approach was associated with significantly less facial nerve dysfunction in patients with IC tumors than the middle cranial fossa method was; however, neither differed significantly from the translabyrinthine corridor (4%, 16.7%, 0%, respectively, p < 0.001). The middle cranial fossa approach differed significantly from the translabyrinthine approach for patients with tumors < 1.5 cm, whereas neither differed from the retrosigmoid approach (3.3%, 11.5%, and 7.2%, respectively, p = 0.001). The retrosigmoid approach involved less facial nerve dysfunction than the middle cranial fossa or translabyrinthine approaches for tumors 1.5–3.0 cm (6.1%, 17.3%, and 15.8%, respectively; p < 0.001). The retrosigmoid approach was also superior to the translabyrinthine approach for tumors > 3.0 cm (30.2% vs 42.5%, respectively, p < 0.001). Postoperative headache was significantly more likely after the retrosigmoid approach than after the translabyrinthine approach, but neither differed significantly from the middle cranial fossa approach (17.3%, 0%, and 8%, respectively; p < 0.001). The incidence of CSF leak was significantly greater after the retrosigmoid approach than after either the middle cranial fossa or translabyrinthine approaches (10.3%, 5.3%, 7.1%; p = 0.001). The incidences of residual tumor, mortality, major non-CN complications, residual tumor, tumor recurrence, and dysfunction of other cranial nerves were not significantly different across the approaches.

Conclusions. The middle cranial fossa approach seems safest for hearing preservation in patients with smaller tumors. Based on the data, the retrosigmoid approach seems to be the most versatile corridor for facial nerve preservation for most tumor sizes, but it is associated with a higher risk of postoperative pain and CSF fistula. The translabyrinthine approach is associated with complete hearing loss but may be useful for patients with large tumors and poor preoperative hearing.