Acute intratumoral hemorrhage within a vestibular schwannoma, or vestibular apoplexy, is a rare condition. Unlike the typical insidious vestibulopathy typically caused by vestibular schwannoma growth, patients with vestibular apoplexy have an acute and severe presentation with nausea and emesis in addition to severe vertigo and hearing loss. Here, the authors present an illustrative case demonstrating this rare clinical condition and an operative video detailing the surgical management.
A 76-year-old man presented to the emergency department with acute-onset dizziness, left-ear fullness, double vision, gait ataxia, emesis, and facial numbness. Imaging revealed a 2.8-cm hemorrhagic left cerebellopontine angle lesion extending into the left internal auditory canal, consistent with hemorrhagic vestibular schwannoma. The patient subsequently underwent a retrosigmoid craniotomy for resection of the hemorrhagic mass, and by 1 month after surgery, all his presenting symptoms had resolved, allowing his return to daily activities.
Vestibular schwannomas typically present with decreased hearing and chronic vestibulopathy. Acute presentation should raise the suspicion for an apoplectic event, and surgical debulking may lead to improvement in most vestibular symptoms.