Acoustic neurinomas associated with vascular compression syndromes
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Trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm are caused by vascular compression of the cranial nerves at the brainstem in the majority of cases. Trigeminal neuralgia occurring in 3.3% of acoustic neurinomas is usually assumed to be a sign of large tumour size; if associated with small tumour size, an additional pathology, such as typical vascular compression must be suspected and has to be explored at surgery. While facial paresis will usually lead to immediate radiological diagnosis of a possible cerebellopontine angle (CPA) neoplasm, facial spasm is usually not expected to be associated with a CPA tumour. We report on clinical presentation, operative findings, surgical treatment and results in 9 cases of small acoustic neurinomas associated with trigeminal neuralgia and on 4 cases associated with hemifacial spasm. The importance of the clinical characteristics is stressed; if these are typical of a vascular compression syndrome, further exploration at the time of tumour surgery and specific treatment by vascular decompression are necessary.
KeywordsAcoustic neurinoma hemifacial spasm trigeminal neuralgia vascular decompression
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