Early radiosurgery improves hearing preservation in vestibular schwannoma patients with normal hearing at the time of diagnosis

Berkcan Akpinar, Seyed H. Mousavi, Michael M. McDowell, Ajay Niranjan, Amir H. Faraji, John C. Flickinger, L. Dade Lunsford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Purpose Vestibular schwannomas (VS) are increasingly diagnosed in patients with normal hearing because of advances in magnetic resonance imaging. We sought to evaluate whether stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) performed earlier after diagnosis improved long-term hearing preservation in this population. Methods and Materials We queried our quality assessment registry and found the records of 1134 acoustic neuroma patients who underwent SRS during a 15-year period (1997-2011). We identified 88 patients who had VS but normal hearing with no subjective hearing loss at the time of diagnosis. All patients were Gardner-Robertson (GR) class I at the time of SRS. Fifty-seven patients underwent early (≤2 years from diagnosis) SRS and 31 patients underwent late (>2 years after diagnosis) SRS. At a median follow-up time of 75 months, we evaluated patient outcomes. Results Tumor control rates (decreased or stable in size) were similar in the early (95%) and late (90%) treatment groups (P=.73). Patients in the early treatment group retained serviceable (GR class I/II) hearing and normal (GR class I) hearing longer than did patients in the late treatment group (serviceable hearing, P=.006; normal hearing, P<.0001, respectively). At 5 years after SRS, an estimated 88% of the early treatment group retained serviceable hearing and 77% retained normal hearing, compared with 55% with serviceable hearing and 33% with normal hearing in the late treatment group. Conclusions SRS within 2 years after diagnosis of VS in normal hearing patients resulted in improved retention of all hearing measures compared with later SRS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-734
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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