Hearing improvement after sudden sensorineural hearing loss as a predictor of vestibular schwannoma

Omer J. Ungar, Anat Wengier, Oren Cavel, Ophir Handzel, Yahav Oron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) can be the presenting symptom of vestibular schwannoma (VS). Usually, steroidal treatment is given before magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is performed. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is a different pattern of steroidal treatment response after SSNHL in patients with and without a VS, in order to determine whether rapid hearing improvement can serve as a predictor of the presence of VS. Methods: Charts of patients with SSNHLs were reviewed. Analysis of the presenting symptoms of patients with an SSNHL with and without a coexisting VS and comparison of the response to steroids of the two groups of patients was performed. Results: A total of 420 patients were treated for SSNHLs during the study period. Treatment consisted of intraoral prednisone 1 mg/kg/day. The male-to-female ratio was 1.00:1.17, and the median age at diagnosis was 38 years (range 18-82); neither parameter correlated with the presence of VS. MRI scans demonstrated a VS in 20 patients (4.76%). Audiometric testing 7 days after steroidal treatment initiation revealed that the pure-tone average of 240 patients (60%) without VS improved, and that of the 16 (80%) patients with VS improved by the same audiometric criteria (p = 0.0007). Conclusions:Improvement of hearing within 1 week after steroidal treatment initiation in patients with SSNHLs may suggest the presence of a VS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Clinical otology
  • Hearing loss


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