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Constantin Tuleasca, Mercy George, Mohamed Faouzi, Luis Schiappacasse, Henri-Arthur Leroy, Michele Zeverino, Roy Thomas Daniel, Raphael Maire, and Marc Levivier

OBJECTIVE

Vestibular schwannomas (VSs) represent a common indication of Gamma Knife surgery (GKS). While most studies focus on the long-term morbidity and adverse radiation effects (AREs), none describe the acute clinical AREs that might appear on a short-term basis. These types of events are investigated, and their incidence, type, and outcomes are reported in the present paper.

METHODS

The included patients were treated between July 2010 and March 2016, underwent at least 6 months of follow-up, and presented with a disabling symptom during the first 6 months after GKS that affected their quality of life. The timing of appearance, as well as the type of main symptom and outcome, were noted. The prescribed dose was 12 Gy at the margin.

RESULTS

Thirty-five (22%) of 159 patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria had acute clinical AREs. The mean followup period was 30 months (range 6–49.2 months). The mean time of appearance was 37.9 days (median 31 days; range 3–110 days). In patients with de novo symptoms, the more frequent symptoms were vertigo (n = 4; 11.4%) and gait disturbance (n = 3; 8.6%). The exacerbation of a preexisting symptom was more frequently related to hearing loss (n = 10; 28.6%), followed by gait disturbance (n = 7; 20%) and vertigo (n = 3, 8.6%). In the univariate logistic regression analysis, the following factors were statistically significant: age (p = 0.002; odds ratio [OR] 0.96), hearing at baseline by Gardner-Robertson (GR) class (p = 0.006; OR 0.21), pure tone average at baseline (p = 0.006; OR 0.97), and Koos grade at baseline (with Koos Grade I used as a reference) (for Koos Grade II, OR 0.17 and p = 0.002; for Koos Grade III, OR 0.42 and p = 0.05). The following were not statistically significant but showed a tendency toward significance: the number of isocenters (p = 0.06; OR 0.94) and the maximal dose received by the cochlea (p = 0.07; OR 0.74). Fractional polynomial regression analysis showed a nonlinear relationship between the outcome and the radiation dose rate (minimum reached at a cutoff of 2.5 Gy/minute) and the maximal vestibular dose (maximum reached at a cutoff of 8 Gy), but the small sample size precludes a detailed analysis of the former. The clinical acute AREs disappeared in 32 (91.4%) patients during the first 6 months after appearance. Permanent and somewhat disabling morbidity was found in 3 cases (1.9% from the whole series): 1 each with complete hearing loss (GR Class I before and V after), hemifacial spasm (persistent but alleviated), and dysgeusia.

CONCLUSIONS

Acute effects after radiosurgery for VS are not rare. They concern predominantly de novo vertigo and gait disturbance and the exacerbation of preexistent hearing loss. In de novo vestibular symptoms, a vestibular dose of more than 8 Gy is thought to play a role. In most cases, none of these effects are permanent, and they will ultimately improve or disappear with steroid therapy. Permanent AREs remain very rare.

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Daniele Starnoni, Giulia Cossu, Rodolfo Maduri, Constantin Tuleasca, Mercy George, Raphael Maire, Mahmoud Messerer, Marc Levivier, Etienne Pralong, and Roy T. Daniel

OBJECTIVE

Cochlear nerve preservation during surgery for vestibular schwannoma (VS) may be challenging. Brainstem auditory evoked potentials and cochlear compound nerve action potentials have clearly shown their limitations in surgeries for large VSs. In this paper, the authors report their preliminary results after direct electrical intraoperative cochlear nerve stimulation and recording of the postauricular muscle response (PAMR) during resection of large VSs.

METHODS

The details for the electrode setup, stimulation, and recording parameters are provided. Data of patients for whom PAMR was recorded during surgery were prospectively collected and analyzed.

RESULTS

PAMRs were recorded in all patients at the ipsilateral vertex-earlobe scalp electrode, and in 90% of the patients they were also observed in the contralateral electrode. The optimal stimulation intensity was found to be 1 mA at 1 Hz, with a good cochlear response and an absent response from other nerves. At that intensity, the ipsilateral cochlear response had an initial peak at a mean (± SEM) latency of 11.6 ± 1.5 msec with an average amplitude of 14.4 ± 5.4 µV. One patient experienced a significant improvement in his audition, while that of the other patients remained stable.

CONCLUSIONS

PAMR monitoring may be useful in mapping the position and trajectory of the cochlear nerve to enable hearing preservation during surgery.