Hearing Preservation After Translabyrinthine Vestibular Schwannoma Excision: Audiometry and Electrocochleography Results

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Objectives:To describe a case of inadvertent hearing preservation following a classical translabyrinthine resection of a vestibular schwannoma of the internal auditory canal in an otherwise healthy patient.Methods:Herein, we describe the case of an otherwise healthy patient who underwent resection of an intracanalicular vestibular schwannoma via a translabyrinthine approach. Furthermore, as part of an ongoing study aimed at characterizing hearing changes due to intraoperative events, cochlear hair cell and nerve activity were monitored using electrocochleography throughout surgery. Unexpectedly, the patient maintained serviceable hearing following surgery. As a result, we are able to provide electrophysiologic evidence of cochlear hair cell activity at various stages of this surgery.Results:Hair cell responses across tested frequencies were detectable prior to and following completion of the translabyrinthine procedure. Neural integrity of the auditory division of cranial nerve VIII was maintained throughout. Lastly, postoperative audiometric testing supported the patient’s subjective assertion of serviceable hearing in the surgical ear.Conclusion:Our results suggest that some degree of hair cell and neural integrity can be maintained throughout the course of the translabyrinthine approach, and if preservation of the auditory division of cranial nerve VIII is feasible, a functional amount of hearing preservation is attainable.

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