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Papers of the Week

2021 Jan-Mar

Asian J Neurosurg



“When the Benign Bleed” Vestibular Schwannomas with Clinically Significant Intratumoral Hemorrhage: A Case Series and Review of the Literature.


Woo P Y-M, Lam P-L, Ip Y H-K, Chan T S-K, Ng O K-S, Kwan M C-L, Wong H-T, Wong A K-S, Chan K-Y
Asian J Neurosurg. 2021 Jan-Mar; 16(1):221-227.
PMID: 34211900.


Vestibular schwannomas (VSs) are slow-growing benign neoplasms commonly located at the cerebellopontine angle. Although clinically significant hemorrhagic VSs are rarely encountered with only 75 patients previously reported, they could be life threatening. We discuss the presentation and outcomes of three patients with hemorrhagic VS as well as review the literature for this phenomenon. Consecutive adult patients with a histologically proven diagnosis of VS over a 9-year period were retrospectively reviewed. Fifty adult patients were identified with three (6%) having clinically significant intratumoral hemorrhage. This was defined as patients having acute to subacute symptoms with frank radiological evidence of hemorrhage. The mean age of diagnosis was 62 ± 9 years and the male-to female ratio was 2:1. The mean duration of symptoms, namely headache, vertigo, and sensorineural hearing impairment, was 26 ± 4 days with one patient presenting with acute coma. Retrosigmoid craniotomy for tumor resection was performed for all patients. Histopathological examination revealed extensive areas of microhemorrhage with considerable macrophage infiltration. All three patients were discharged with no additional neurological deficit and good functional performance. Clinically significant hemorrhagic VSs are rare, and patients may present with acute to subacute (i.e., within a month) symptoms of hearing loss headache, facial, or trigeminal nerve palsy. Macrophage infiltration is frequently encountered in tumor specimens and reflects the pivotal role of chronic inflammation in their pathophysiology. Surgical resection can lead to good outcomes with timely intervention.