Progressive hearing loss is well known as a usually existing complaint in patients with acoustic neuromas. However, sudden hearing loss is also a relatively frequent condition in acoustic neuroma patients. In our review of 132 patients with surgically proven unilateral acoustic neuromas, 29 (22.0% presented a history of sudden hearing loss. We investigated the clinical and audiological characteristics of these patients, and discuss the etiology of sudden hearing loss in patients with acoustic neuromas. The characteristics of patients with AN presenting sudden hearing loss were as follows: 1) a small tumor, 2) short duration after onset, 3) low incidences of vertigo, dizziness, facial and trigeminal nerve symptoms, 4) the trough type in the audiogram configuration, 5) normal caloric response. Based on the analysis of these results, we conclude that a conduction block of the cochlear nerve is likely to be the etiology of sudden hearing loss.
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