Analysis of Vestibular Testing in Patients With Vestibular Schwannoma Based on the Nerve of Origin, the Localization, and the Size of the Tumor

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Abstract

Objectives:

We aimed to analyze the factors influencing caloric response and vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) in vestibular schwannoma.

Subjects:

The subjects comprised 130 patients with unilateral vestibular schwannoma pathologically diagnosed by surgery.

Method:

Caloric response and the amplitude and latency of VEMP were measured and analyzed based on the nerve of origin, localization, and size of the tumor. The tumors were classified into 3 types based on localization: intracanalicular, intermediate, and medial; and into 4 grades based on size: 9 mm or less, 10 to 19 mm, 20 to 29 mm, and 30 mm or greater.

Results:

Abnormal rates of caloric response and VEMP in patients with tumors arising from the superior vestibular nerve were not significantly different from those in patients with tumors of the inferior vestibular nerve. In the intermediate and medial type-but not in the intracanalicular type-a significant difference in tumor size was observed between patients with normal caloric response and those with canal paresis as also between patients with normal VEMP and those with abnormal VEMP. In patients with tumors that maximally measured 10 to 19 mm or of the intermediate type, the p- and n-wave latencies of VEMP were significantly prolonged compared with those in the normal opposite ear.

Conclusion:

1) The nerve of origin of tumors cannot be predicted based on caloric response and VEMP. 2) In the intermediate and medial types, caloric response and the VEMP amplitude are significantly diminished in association with an increase in tumor size. 3) Prolonged VEMP latencies seem to be not only caused by tumor compression to the brainstem or vestibular spinal tract but also by tumor compression isolated to the inferior vestibular nerve.

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