The authors’ aim was to evaluate the tumor volume and growth rate of neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2)–associated vestibular schwannomas (VSs) and the clinical factors or type of mutations before and after surgery in children and adults younger than 25 years at the time of diagnosis.
A total of 579 volumetric measurements were performed in 46 operated tumors in 28 NF2 patients, using thin-slice (< 3 mm) T1-weighted contrast-enhanced MRI. The follow-up period ranged from 21 to 167 months (mean 75 months). Growth rate was calculated using a multilinear regression model. Mutation analysis of the NF2 gene was performed in 25 patients.
Surgery significantly (p = 0.013) slowed the VS growth rate from 0.69 ± 1.30 cm3/yr to 0.23 ± 0.42 cm3/yr. Factors significantly associated with a higher growth rate of VSs were increasing patient age (p < 0.0005), tumor volume (p = 0.006), tumor size (p = 0.001), and constitutional truncating mutations in the NF2 gene (p = 0.018). VS growth rates tended to be higher in patients with spinal ependymomas and in right-sided tumors and lower in the presence of peripheral schwannomas; however, no statistical significance was achieved.
Decompression of the internal auditory canal with various degrees of tumor resection decreases the postoperative tumor growth rate in children and young adults with NF2-associated VS. Patients with potential risk factors for accelerated growth (e.g., large volume, truncating mutations) and with increasing age should be monitored more closely before and after surgery.