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Conservative Management Of Acoustic Neuromas.
Published 1992 · Medicine
The results of this study and others document the biologic behavior of acoustic neuromas. In view of the evidence presented, which describes both variable rates of individual tumor growth and spontaneous regression in size, it would seem prudent that before selecting a nonsurgical treatment modality, the growth rate for the particular tumor in question should be established. To date, none of the literature that addresses the use of focused irradiation has attempted to do so. Our study as well as those of others suggests that the growth rate of acoustic neuromas becomes predictable over time. Based on this observation, a conservative (nontumor excision) management strategy is proposed for selected individuals. Patients to whom this management philosophy has been recommended or who themselves have chosen this option are seen twice yearly. Each visit consists of a thorough neurotologic examination as well as high-definition CT or MRI. Careful comparison of the clinical course as well as calculation of the tumor size is carried out in each instance. If the clinical course and rate of tumor growth remain unchanged over a 3-year follow-up, annual assessments are recommended. In the event of tumor enlargement, surgery may or may not be recommended, depending on the rate of growth and the age of the patient. Our experience suggests that a rate of growth equal to or exceeding 0.2 cm per year constitutes an indication for tumor removal.