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Acoustic Neuroma

Screenings and Tests for Acoustic Neuroma

Doctors apply a variety of tests for acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) as soon as symptoms appear. However, the similarity of symptoms to other problems of the middle and inner ear make diagnosing acoustic neuroma more difficult. Some indications that may show up during a routine physical exam include decreased feeling or drooping on one side of the face, an unsteady walk, or difficulty hearing.

Tests for acoustic neuroma that differentiate it from other causes of the symptoms are:
•    audiometry, a hearing test
•    a brainstem auditory evoked response that tests brain stem and hearing functions
•    electromystagmography, testing balance and equilibrium

To help discover the location and size of the tumor, doctors use MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT scans (computerized tomography) augmented with a dye administered intravenously. Both scans are critical in diagnosing acoustic neuroma and planning treatment.

If a patient is known to have neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2), a hereditary genetic disorder related to bilateral acoustic neuroma, yearly examinations are recommended. The tests should include an MRI of the brain and spinal cord, an eye exam and an evaluation of hearing and speech.

Locations for Acoustic Neuroma