One hundred fifty-three cases of acoustic neuroma were treated surgically by the middle cranial fossa approach or extended middle cranial fossa approach. Attempts to preserve hearing were made in 30 cases with tumours extending 2.0 cm or less into the posterior fossa; successful hearing preservation was achieved in 12 cases. Among the 15 patients with preoperative hearing levels (HL) of 50 dB or lower and speech discrimination scores (SDS) of 50% or higher, hearing was preserved in 9 (60% patients. A similar rate of hearing preservation was achieved among the patients with normal or near-normal hearing. Compared with those patients in whom hearing could not be preserved, those with hearing preservation had better HL, higher SDS, and less abnormal ABR findings preoperatively. Postoperatively, the HL and SDS deteriorated slightly. In addition, there was a marked prolongation of the IT5, and the incidence of absence of the stapedius reflex increased. Compared with the preoperative HL, the postoperative HL was unchanged in 5 cases; deteriorated temporarily and then improved in 5 cases; and deteriorated, though with hearing preserved, in 2 cases. Intraoperative monitoring was conducted by recording the ABR and VIII nerve compound action potentials and by electrocochleography. However, postoperative hearing could not always be predicted from the findings obtained at the end of the operation.
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