Early postoperative delayed hearing loss: Patterns of behavioural and electrophysiological auditory responses following vestibular schwannoma surgery
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Following vestibular schwannoma excision, a subset of cases has been reported in which hearing is present immediately after surgery, but is lost in the early postoperative period. Such cases have rarely been reported, and the postoperative audiological data collected from patients in these cases lacks the time resolution necessary to determine the pathophysiological mechanism responsible for the pattern of hearing loss. The present study aimed to more clearly define delayed hearing loss by collecting detailed data documenting changes in behavioural and electrophysiological auditory responses following vestibular schwannoma surgery. In particular, we aimed to use this data to determine the time course of changes in auditory function and to identify whether the site of impairment was cochlear or neural.
Preoperative and daily postoperative monitoring of auditory function was performed in 19 patients undergoing vestibular schwannoma excision via the retrosigmoid approach at Christchurch Public Hospital. The pre- and postoperative assessment battery included pure-tone and speech audiometry, tympanometry, tone decay, distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs), and auditory brainstem response (ABR) measurement. Intraoperative ABR was performed in four cases in which clear preoperative waveforms were present. Transtympanic electrocochleography (ECochG) was carried out if wave I was lost in the early postoperative period.
Thirteen of the 19 patients suffered immediate anacusis following surgery and six had measurable hearing postoperatively. The behavioural and electrophysiological data collected in each case is discussed with regard to the likely pathophysiology of pre- and postoperative hearing loss.
No patients demonstrated behavioural evidence of delayed hearing loss, however a gradual deterioration of ABR in the early postoperative period was observed in Case 16. ECochG and DPOAEs in this case indicated the presence of cochlear function although the patient presented with immediate postoperative anacusis in the ipsilateral ear. These results are consistent with postoperative retrograde degeneration of the cochlear nerve.