Cochlear implantation after radiosurgery for vestibular schwannoma

Neil S. Patel, Matthew L. Carlson, Michael J. Link, Brian A. Neff, Jamie J. Van Gompel, Colin L.W. Driscoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE The object of this study was to ascertain outcomes of cochlear implantation (CI) following stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for vestibular schwannoma (VS). METHODS The authors conducted a retrospective chart review of adult patients with VS treated with SRS who underwent CI between 1990 and 2019 at a single tertiary care referral center. Patient demographics, tumor features, treatment parameters, and pre- and postimplantation audiometric and clinical outcomes are presented. RESULTS Seventeen patients (18 ears) underwent SRS and ipsilateral CI during the study period. Thirteen patients (76%) had neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). Median age at SRS and CI were 44 and 48 years, respectively. Median time from SRS to CI was 60 days, but notably, 4 patients underwent SRS and CI within 1 day and 5 patients underwent CI more than 7 years after SRS. Median marginal dose was 13 Gy. Median treatment volume at the time of SRS was 1400 mm3 (range 84–6080 mm3, n = 15 patients). Median post-CI PTA was 28 dB HL, improved from 101 dB HL preoperatively (p < 0.001). Overall, 11 patients (12 ears) exhibited open-set speech understanding. Sentence testing was performed at a median of 10 months (range 1–143 months) post-CI. The median AzBio sentence score for patients with open-set speech understanding was 76% (range 19%–95%, n = 10 ears). Two ears exhibited Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) sentence scores of 49% and 95%, respectively. Four patients achieved environmental sound awareness without open-set speech recognition. Two had no detectable auditory percepts. CONCLUSIONS Most patients who underwent CI following SRS for VS enjoyed access to sound at near-normal levels, with the majority achieving good open-set speech understanding. Implantation can be performed immediately following SRS or in a delayed fashion, depending on hearing status as well as other factors. This strategy may be applied to cases of sporadic or NF2-associated VS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-135
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Cochlear implant
  • Cranial base
  • Hearing loss
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Skull base
  • Vestibular schwannoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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