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Neurosurgery. 2016 Sep;79(3):370-7. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000001125.

Internal Auditory Canal Decompression for Hearing Maintenance in Neurofibromatosis Type 2 Patients.

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*AP-HP, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, Otology, Auditory Implants and Skull Base Surgery Department, Paris, France; ‡Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Université Paris VI, Paris, France; §INSERM UMR-S 1159, Réhabilitation Chirurgicale Mini-invasive et Robotisée de l'audition, Paris, France; ¶AP-HP, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, Neurosurgery Department, Paris, France.



In neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), multiple therapeutic options are available to prevent bilateral hearing loss that significantly affects the quality of life of patients.


To evaluate the morbidity and functional results of internal auditory canal (IAC) decompression in NF2 patients with an only hearing ear.


Twenty-one NF2 patients operated on for IAC decompression in a 3-year period with a minimum follow-up of 1 year were included in this retrospective study. They presented unilateral deafness due to previous contralateral vestibular schwannoma removal in 16 patients or contralateral hearing loss due to the tumor in 5 patients. Hearing level was of class A (American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery classification) in 7 patients, B in 8 patients, C in 1 patient, and D in 5 patients. Pure-tone average and speech discrimination score evaluations were performed at 6 days, 1 year, and during the follow-up. Eight patients had postoperative chemotherapy.


No case of facial nerve palsy was observed. In the early postoperative period; all patients maintained the hearing class of the preoperative period. At 1-year follow-up, all but 3 patients maintained their hearing scores; at last follow-up (mean follow-up, 23 ± 8 months; range, 12-44 months), hearing classes remained stable with only 1 patient worsening from class B to C and 1 patient improving from class D to B.


Decompression of IAC seems to be a useful procedure for hearing maintenance in NF2 patients, with very low morbidity. Ideal timing and association with chemotherapy should be evaluated in the future.


FN, facial nerveIAC, internal auditory canalNF2, neurofibromatosis type 2PTA, pure tone averageSDS, speech discrimination scoreVS, vestibular schwannoma.

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