06. tbl. 99. árg. 2013

Acoustic Neuroma in Iceland for 30 years (1979-2009)

Heyrnartaugaslíðursæxli á Íslandi í 30 ár (1979-2009)

Introduction: Acoustic neuroma (AN) is a tumor of the 8th cranial nerve. The goal of this study was  to find the incidence of AN in Iceland from 1979 – 2009 as well as investigate other epidemiological factors.

Material and Methods: The group of patients with the AN diagnosis was gathered retrospectively through medical records. We looked at several epidemiological factors including age and symptoms at diagnosis, and the  treatment chosen for each individual.

Results: The incidence rate of AN in Iceland is 1.24/100,000. About 10% of diagnosed tumors were found incidentally. Most of  those  were found in the last 10 years of the investigation and in that period fewer large and giant tumors at diagnosis. Present complaints of patients at diagnosis were hearing loss (69%), dysequilibrium/dizziness (47%) and tinnitus (43%). Treatments were surgery (n=47), observation (n=30) and gamma knife radiosurgery (n=16). We had information concerning postoperative hearing loss and facial paralysis in 39 patients who underwent surgery. Loss of hearing postoperatively occurred in 69% (n=27) and 44% (n=17) had facial paralysis. For an average of 3.5 years, 17% of tumors followed by imaging grew.

Conclusion: The incidence of AN is similar to that in Europe and is increasing. More tumors are found incidentally. Small tumors can be followed by regular imaging, at least for  the short term. Larger tumors are treated by surgery or gamma knife radiosurgery. A high percentage of patients receiving surgery lost their hearing postoperatively.


Key words: Acoustic neuroma, acoustic tumor, vestibular schwannoma, acoustic schwannoma

Correspondence:  Þorsteinn H. Guðmundsson, thhg86@gmail.com

1Department of Life Sciences, University of Iceland, 2Department of  Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Landspítali, Reykjavík, Iceland


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