Risk factors of acoustic neurinoma: a literature review

Iveta Idzelytė1, Iveta Lasickaitė1

1Lithuania University of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine


Acoustic neuroma, or vestibular schwannoma, is one of the types of intracranial tumors that arises from the Schwann cells covering the nerve and affects cranial nerve VIII. The function of this nerve is the transmission of auditory and equilibrium sensory impulses, and as the tumor develops and the lesion progresses, the person begins to complain of hearing loss in one ear, tinnitus, rumbling, as well as disturbed balance. Various diagnostic techniques are available to determine the cause of hearing loss, but visual confirmation of the head area – MRI – is the most appropriate way to confirm or refute the diagnosis of acoustic neurinoma. The hyperintensive cerebrospinal fluid seen in the T2-weighted MRI scan confirms the diagnosis of acoustic neurinoma. The best way to treat this tumor, if possible, is to remove it. This is done during the surgical intervention, and if surgery is contraindicated, radiation therapy can be used. However, far more important than any modern diagnostic method or treatment is prophylaxis and the avoidance of risk factors that cause the disease. Noise, the use of mobile phones and ionizing radiation are the most important risk factors for vestibular schwannoma. Living in this modern world is not easy to avoid noise and undoubtedly mobile phones have become a part of our lifestyle. However, scientific research into these factors has, to date, provided mixed results, some are confirming while others are denying their influence on neurinoma development. This article reviews sources of literature that investigate the risk factors of acoustic neurinoma.

Keywords: acoustic neuroma, vestibular schwannoma, ionizing radiation, mobile phones, noise