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Key Features

  • Eighth nerve schwannomas are among the most common of intracranial tumors

  • The lesions arise within the internal auditory canal and gradually grow to involve the cerebellopontine angle, eventually compressing the pons and resulting in hydrocephalus

  • Most are unilateral

  • About 5% are associated with hereditary syndrome neurofibromatosis type 2

  • Any individual with a unilateral or asymmetric sensorineural hearing loss should be evaluated for an intracranial mass lesion

  • Other lesions of the cerebellopontine angle, such as meningioma and epidermoids, may have similar audiovestibular manifestations

Clinical Findings

  • Typical auditory symptoms are unilateral hearing loss with deterioration of speech discrimination exceeding that predicted by the degree of pure-tone loss

  • Nonclassic presentations, such as sudden unilateral hearing loss, are fairly common

  • Vestibular dysfunction more often takes the form of continuous dysequilibrium than episodic vertigo


  • Diagnosis is made by enhanced MRI


  • Depends on such factors as patient age, underlying health, and size of the tumor

  • Consists of

    • Observation

    • Microsurgical excision

    • Stereotactic radiotherapy

  • Bevacizumab (vascular endothelial growth factor blocker) has shown promise in treating neurofibromatosis type 2

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