✓ The authors describe acute deterioration in facial and acoustic neuropathies following radiosurgery for acoustic neuromas.
In May 1995, a 26-year-old man, who had no evidence of neurofibromatosis Type 2, was treated with gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS; maximum dose 20 Gy and margin dose 14 Gy) for a right-sided intracanalicular acoustic tumor. Two days after the treatment, he developed headache, vomiting, right-sided facial weakness, tinnitus, and right hearing loss. There was a deterioration of facial nerve function and hearing function from pretreatment values. The facial function worsened from House—Brackmann Grade 1 to 3. Hearing deteriorated from Grade 1 to 5. Magnetic resonance (MR) images, obtained at the same time revealed an obvious decrease in contrast enhancement of the tumor without any change in tumor size or peritumoral edema. Facial nerve function improved gradually and increased to House—Brackmann Grade 2 by 8 months post-GKS. The tumor has been unchanged in size for 5 years, and facial nerve function has also been maintained at Grade 2 with unchanged deafness.
This is the first detailed report of immediate facial neuropathy after GKS for acoustic neuroma and MR imaging revealing early possibly toxic changes. Potential explanations for this phenomenon are presented.