Neurovascular Compression Syndrome of the Eighth Cranial Nerve. Can the Site of Compression Explain the Symptoms?
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Considerable skepticism still exists concerning the concept of neurovascular compression (NVC) syndromes of the eighth cranial nerve (8th N). If such syndromes exist, the sites of compression of the nerve must explain the symptoms encountered. We recorded compound action potentials of the cochlear nerve (CCAPs) during neurovascular decompression (NVD) to examine the topography of the three components of the 8th N. The sites of compression of the 8th N in cases of NVC syndrome confirmed at surgery were superimposed on the topography of the CN and vestibular nerve (VN) in order to determine the relationship between the sites of compression and the symptoms. CCAPs were clearly and consistently recorded on the caudal surface of the 8th N along the midline. In patients with vertigo and tinnitus there was vascular compression of the rostro-ventral (VN) and caudal surface (CN) of the nerve, respectively. In patients with both vertigo and tinnitus, there was compression of both VN and CN. Our findings clearly demonstrate that the symptoms of NVC of the 8th N depend on the part of the nerve that is compressed by blood vessels, and they support the concept of NVC syndrome of the 8th N.
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