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Anan Bedavanija, Jürgen Brieger, Hans-Anton Lehr, Jan Maurer and Wolf J. Mann

Object. Acoustic neuroma is the most frequent benign tumor of the cerebellopontine angle, and surgery is still the most common form of treatment. To gain better insight into the dysregulated mechanisms causing growth of acoustic neuroma, the authors studied the proliferative activity of 34 consecutive samples by analyzing immunohistochemical staining with Ki-67 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), and apoptosis based on the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase—mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling. Data from these analyses were correlated with clinical parameters (that is, tumor size, duration of symptoms, and patient age).

Methods. Apoptotic cells were found in none of the tumors. Proliferation measured on staining with Ki-67 and PCNA correlated with tumor size, but not with patient age or duration of symptoms. The authors demonstrated that tumors 18 mm or smaller in diameter have lower proliferation indices and growth rates, compared with tumors larger than 18 mm with high proliferative indices and growth rates. Additionally, they observed that these more aggressive, larger tumors occur mostly in patients younger than 50 years of age.

Conclusions. Patients with tumors larger than 18 mm in diameter and who are younger than 50 years of age sustain an enhanced risk for fast-growing tumors because of these lesions' enhanced proliferative activity. For these patients the authors recommend active therapy.

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Tobias Stripf, Klarissa Braun, Haralampos Gouveris, Esther A. Stripf, Wolf J. Mann and Ronald G. Amedee

Object

Surgery in the cerebellopontine angle (CPA) is a standard procedure at many centers. Outcome is focused mainly on preservation of hearing and facial function postoperatively. The nonmotor part of the facial nerve, the intermediate nerve, is nearly neglected nowadays.

Methods

A retrospective study was designed, including a questionnaire that was sent to 178 patients who had undergone surgery between 2000 and 2004. Data were obtained in 156 cases. The questionnaire was divided into five parts assessing the presence of increased tearing, reduced tearing, salivation disturbances, increased nasal secretions, and abnormalities in taste. Finally, a self-assessment of patient symptoms was analyzed.

Results

Postoperatively, 70 patients (45%) experienced crocodile tears, whereas 62 (40%) had dry eyes. Disturbances in taste were noted in six patients (4%) preoperatively and in 52 patients (33%) after surgery. Increased nasal secretion was noted in 68 patients (44%) postoperatively. An analysis of the correlation between the surgical approach used and disturbances in the intermediate nerve revealed a strong tendency to a higher rate of symptoms following the middle fossa approach (p = 0.071, chi-square test).

Conclusions

Data in this study demonstrate the clinical importance of nonmotor defects associated with CPA tumor removal. More than 50% of the patients in this study reported postoperative crocodile tears, dry eyes, nasal secretions, and/or taste disturbances. These sequelae may affect both short- and long-term postoperative quality of life to the same extent as deafness or transient facial paresis. The risk of injury seems to be higher after the middle fossa approach.