Introduction: Clinical and Radiological Diagnosis
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Vestibular schwannomas (also known as acoustic neuromas) are intracranial tumors arising from Schwann cells, which form the myelin sheath around the vestibulocochlear bundle. Vestibular schwannomas account for 5–10% of intracranial tumors and are the most common neoplastic lesions in the cerebellopontine angle. The main risk factor is the exposure to radiation and, as most recently ascertained, leisure noise. They are classified as WHO grade I tumors and have a locally compressing effect rather than an infiltrative tendency. The site of origin is the inferior vestibular nerve in 70% of cases and the superior vestibular nerve in 20%. The most common symptoms are hearing loss (95% of patients) and tinnitus (63%), usually with a chronic onset. The diagnostic workup requires audiometry and magnetic resonance imaging with gadolinium contrast to confirm the clinical suspicion. Different grading systems have been proposed to stage tumor progression, Samii’s classification being one of the most commonly used.
KeywordsVestibular schwannoma/epidemiology Vestibular schwannoma/pathology Vestibular schwannoma/diagnosis
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