Atypical Schwannoma: A 10-year experience

Armine H Kocharyan, Selena Briggs, Maura K Cosetti, Sabrina M Heman-Ackah, John G Golfinos, J Thomas Roland
American Journal of Otolaryngology 2020, 41 (1): 102309

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to describe the clinical presentation associated with atypical schwannoma of the cerebellopontine angle, characterize the pathologic findings and describe the long-term outcome.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study design was retrospective case review of patients with the histopathologic diagnosis of atypical and benign schwannoma of the cerebellopontine angle diagnosed at the study institution over a 10-year period.

SETTING: Tertiary referral center.

MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURE: Demographic data of the cohort were recorded. Findings on pathology were evaluated. Initial treatment and post-operative course was recorded. Main outcome measures were clinical presentation, including cranial nerve deficits at the time of presentation, complication and recurrence rates.

RESULTS: At presentation, a somewhat accelerated course of cranial nerve deficit was noted among patients with atypical schwannoma as compared to benign schwannoma. In the immediate post-operative period, there were no differences noted in the complication rate. Atypical schwannomas appear to have higher recurrence rate compared to benign schwannomas.

CONCLUSIONS: Atypical schwannoma is an intermediate disease process with an accelerated clinical course and higher recurrence rate as compared to vestibular schwannoma. Traditional operative approaches may be employed without increased concern for post-operative complications. Thorough counseling and close follow-up should be offered to these patients given the higher recurrence rate. Larger studies are required to determine if these patients need more frequent MRIs for long-term surveillance.


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