OBJECTIVES: The goal of the present study was to compare the frequencies of cochlear and noncochlear patterns of distortion-product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) in patients with nonacoustic (non-AN) tumors of the cerebellopontine angle (CPA)/internal auditory canal with those in patients with acoustic neuroma (AN). STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We conducted a prospective study of patients with non-AN internal auditory canal/CPA tumors treated between 1992 and 1999 in a tertiary care setting. We collected data on behavioral pure tone average, speech discrimination score, acoustic immittance tests, DPOAEs, and tumor size. DPOAEs were divided into those with a cochlear or a noncochlear pattern. Comparisons were made with a control group of patients with AN of the CPA. RESULTS: Twenty-four patients were included in the study: 12 patients in the non-AN group and 12 patients in the AN group. In the non-AN group, 5 (42%) patients had a cochlear pattern and 7 (58%) had a noncochlear pattern. In the AN group, 7 (58%) patients had a cochlear pattern and 5 (42%) had a noncochlear pattern. The differences between the non-AN and AN groups were statistically significant. In the non-AN group, patients with a cochlear-pattern DPOAE had significantly smaller tumors (P = 0.03) and a trend (P = 0.07) toward higher speech discrimination score. Age and pure tone average were not significantly different in the non-AN tumor patients. In the AN group, none of the study parameters were significantly related to the pattern of DPOAE. CONCLUSIONS: ANs appear to differ from other tumors of the CPA in their propensity to cause sensory versus neural hearing loss. A larger series of patients would be useful to confirm these preliminary findings.
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