Vestibular schwannoma: epidemiology, signs and symptoms, diagnostics, treatment

Raimondas Kiltinavičius1, Greta Venckutė 1, Paulius Ješkevičius1

1 Faculty of Medicine, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania


Vestibular schwannomas (also called acoustic neuromas, acoustic schwannomas, acoustic neurinomas, or vestibular neurilemomas) are tumors caused by Schwann cells, usually arising from the vestibular part of the eighth cranial nerve. These tumors account for approximately 8% of adult intracranial tumors and 80-90% of cerebellopontin angle (CPA) tumors. This disease is not very common in practice, but it is very important to understand the pathogenesis and to be able to diagnose it. The tumor has a slow growth, because of why symptoms usually occur over a long period of time and can sometimes go unnoticed or the wrong cause of their onset might be suspected. Due to the location of the tumor, it may be responsible for hearing loss, damage to the cranial nerves, or other disorders of the brain. Diagnostics are not complicated, but it is important to perform the necessary audiometric tests in a timely manner, interpret them correctly, and prescribe neurovisual tests. There are several different tactics to choose from for treatment, depending on the size of the tumor and the clinical manifestations. Choosing it correctly results in good outcomes and a low risk of relapse.

Keywords: schwannoma, acoustic neurinoma, treatment, radiotherapy.