Auditory nerve tumor is also known by the name Acoustic Neuroma. This kind of tumor generally arises due to excessive exposure to radiations. The tumor presses the auditory nerve thus sending signals from ear to brain.
Auditory nerve tumor is benign slowly growing tumor which is usually unilateral but in some cases may be bilateral. These arise from nerve sheaths and may be associated with neurofibromatosis. Tumor occurs in the extramedullary part of VIII nerve and is located in the cerebellopontine angle in the posterior cranial fossa.
The onset is insidious with tinnitus or vertigo. With the progress of lesion, number of cranial nerves are involved (VII, V, IX and X) and there is contra lateral hemiplegia and hemianaesthesia due to compression of brain stem. As the lesion further progresses there is development of hemiplegia and sensory loss on the same side.
Early detection of the tumor at the time of minimal hearing defect or facial motor difficulty is important. Diagnosis is made by X-ray of the base of skull (Town’s view) which shows erosion of internal auditory meatus. Further confirmation is made by brain stem auditory evoked responses, CT and MRI with contrast injection. Treatment of auditory nerve tumor is by microneuro surgical intervention.
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