Change In Hearing During ‘wait And Scan’ Management Of Patients With Vestibular Schwannoma
To evaluate hearing changes during ‘wait and scan’ management of patients with vestibular schwannoma.
Over a 10-year period, 636 patients have prospectively been allocated to ‘wait and scan’ management, with annual magnetic resonance scanning and audiological examination.
At the time of diagnosis, 334 patients (53 per cent) had good hearing and speech discrimination of better than 70 per cent; at the end of the 10-year observation period, this latter percentage was 31 per cent. In 17 per cent of the patients, speech discrimination at diagnosis was 100 per cent; of these, 88 per cent still had good hearing at the end of the observation period. However, in patients with even a small initial speech discrimination loss, only 55 per cent maintained good hearing at the end of the observation period.
After comparing the hearing results of hearing preservation surgery and of radiation therapy with those of ‘wait and scan’ management, it appears that, in vestibular schwannoma patients with a small tumour and normal speech discrimination, the main indication for active treatment should be established tumour growth.