OBJECTIVES To assess the utility of an extratympanic intrameatal electrode for intraoperative monitoring during acoustic neuroma and other cerebellopontine angle tumour surgery and to define the neurophysiological and surgical factors which influence hearing preservation.
METHODS Twenty two patients, 18 with acoustic neuromas and four with other cerebellopontine angle tumours, underwent intraoperative monitoring during tumour excision. The extratympanic intrameatal electrode (IME) was used to record the electrocochleogram (ECoG) and surface electrodes to record the brainstem auditory evoked response (ABR).
RESULTS The compound action potential (CAP) of the ECoG was two and a half times greater in amplitude than wave I of the ABR and was easily monitored. Virtually instant information was available as minimal averaging was required. Continuous monitoring was possible from the commencement of anaesthesia to skin closure. The IME was easy to place, non-invasive, and did not interfere with the operative field. Operative procedures which affected CAP or wave V latency or amplitude were drilling around the internal auditory meatus, tumour dissection, nerve section, and brainstem and cerebellar retraction. Hearing was achieved in 59% of patients.
CONCLUSIONS The IME had significant benefits in comparison with other methods of monitoring. The technique provided information beneficial to preservation of hearing.
- intraoperative monitoring
- extratympanic intrameatal electrode
- acoustic neuroma surgery
- hearing preservation
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