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Abstract

Eighty-five patients with acoustic neurinomas underwent stereotactic radiosurgery with the gamma unit at the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA) during its first 30 months of operation. Neuroimaging studies performed in 40 patients with more than 1 year follow-up showed that tumors were smaller in 22 (55%), unchanged in 17 (43%), and larger in one (2%). The 2-year actuarial rates for preservation of useful hearing and any hearing were 46% and 62%, respectively. Previously undetected neuropathies of the trigeminal (n = 12) and facial nerves (n = 14) occurred 1 week to 1 year after radiosurgery (median, 7 and 6 months, respectively), and improved at median intervals of 13 and 8 months, respectively, after onset. Hearing loss was significantly associated with increasing average tumor diameter (P = 0.04). No deterioration of any cranial nerve function has yet developed in seven patients with average tumor diameters less than 10 mm. Radiosurgery is an important treatment alternative for selected acoustic neurinoma patients.