Hearing Outcomes in Conservatively Managed Vestibular Schwannoma Patients With Serviceable Hearing

Jacob B. Hunter, Eric M. Dowling, Christine M. Lohse, Brendan P. O'Connell, Nicole M. Tombers, Katherine A. Lees, Reid S. Thompson, David S. Haynes, Matthew L. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objective: To characterize the risk of progression to nonserviceable hearing in patients with sporadic vestibular schwannomas (VS) who elect initial observation. Study Design: Retrospective case series. Setting: Two tertiary care centers. Patients: VS patients with serviceable hearing who underwent at least two audiograms and two MRI studies before intervention or loss to follow-up. Main outcome measure(s): Serviceable hearing, defined as the pure tone average ≤ 50 dB HL and word recognition score ≥ 50%. Results: Four-hundred sixty-six patients (median age of 57 yr and median tumor diameter of 7.3 mm) had serviceable hearing at presentation and were followed for a median of 2.3 years (IQR 1.0 - 4.0). Kaplan-Meier estimated rates of maintaining serviceable hearing (95% CI; number still at risk) at 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 years following diagnosis were 94% (91-96; 357), 77% (73-82; 172), 66% (60-73; 81), 56% (49-65; 31), and 44% (33-59; 10), respectively. Each 10-dB increase in pure-tone averages at diagnosis was associated with a 2-fold increased likelihood of developing nonserviceable hearing (hazard ratio 2.07; p<0.001). Each 10% decrease in word recognition score was associated with a 1.5-fold increased likelihood of developing nonserviceable hearing (hazard ratio 1.48; p<0.001). Conclusions: Among patients with sporadic VS, good baseline word recognition score and low pure-tone average are jointly associated with maintenance of serviceable hearing. These data may be used to guide patient counseling and optimize management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E704-E711
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Hearing
  • Observation
  • Patient outcome assessment
  • Survival analysis
  • Vestibular schwannoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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