Conservative management of acoustic neuroma: A meta-analysis and proposed treatment algorithm

Eric E. Smouha, Michael Yoo, Kristi Mohr, Raphael P. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

226 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypotheses: Conservative management is a viable treatment alternative for acoustic neuroma. Using previous studies to provide evidence-based support, we have attempted to more clearly define the role of conservative management. Study Design: Retrospective review of literature and patient charts. Methods: Published studies on conservative management of acoustic neuroma were found using a key word search through PubMed in addition to the bibliographies of these selected studies. A spreadsheet was made to tabulate the selection criteria for conservative management, duration and frequency of follow-up, patient demographics, initial tumor size and rate of growth, change in hearing status, and the need for definitive treatment. Results: A total of 21 studies comprising 1,345 patients were included in our meta-analysis. The average length of follow-up these studies was 3.2 years. The average initial tumor size was 11.8 mm (n = 900); 43% of 1,244 acoustic neuromas showed growth, whereas 57% showed either no growth or tumor regression. The average growth rate was 1.9 mm/year in 793 individuals. Hearing loss occurred in 51% of 347 individuals. In 15 studies, 20.0% of 1,001 individuals eventually failed conservative management. Conclusions: Our meta-analysis supports the role of conservative management of acoustic neuromas in properly selected patients on the basis of a slow overall rate of growth and a substantial incidence of no growth. However, the lack of predictive factors, the relatively short duration of follow-up, and the variability of inclusion criteria underscore the need for continued collection of long-term data. An algorithm for acoustic neuroma management is proposed based on initial tumor size, patient age, and hearing status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-454
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Conservative treatment
  • Growth rate
  • Meta-analysis
  • Vestibnlar schwannoma


Dive into the research topics of 'Conservative management of acoustic neuroma: A meta-analysis and proposed treatment algorithm'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this