Immediate and Long-term Hearing Outcomes With the Middle Cranial Fossa Approach for Vestibular Schwannoma Resection

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Objective:To analyze the immediate postoperative and long-term hearing outcome data in patients who have undergone hearing preservation attempts with the middle cranial fossa (MCF) approach for the resection of sporadic vestibular schwannoma.Study Design:Retrospective review of a surgical patient cohort.Setting:Tertiary academic referral center.Patients:Adult patients with unilateral sporadic vestibular schwannoma.Intervention:Surgical treatment with a MCF approach.Main Outcome Measure:Comparison of pre- and postoperative audiometric data in accordance with the 1995 and 2012 American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery guidelines on reporting hearing outcomes and with a word recognition score only scale. Long-term hearing outcome data were analyzed in the following postoperative groups: 3 to 5, 6 to 8, 9 to 11, and 12+ years after surgery.Results:From 1999 to 2016, 174 patients underwent the MCF approach and 155 of them met inclusion criteria for analysis of hearing outcome data. Class A or B hearing was preserved in 70% of the entire cohort after recovery. Seventy-one patients with measurable hearing met criteria for long-term data analysis. The rate of American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery class A or B hearing preservation was 82% at 3 to 5 years and declined thereafter. The rate of word recognition score class I or II hearing preservation was 98% at 3 to 5 years and declined less rapidly thereafter. Patients with preoperative Class A hearing had significantly higher rates of successful hearing preservation at all postoperative intervals.Conclusion:Delayed hearing loss occurs in a progressively increasing fashion but speech understanding remains durable for a majority of patients whose hearing is initially preserved with the MCF approach.

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