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Research paper
Age, gender and tumour size predict work capacity after surgical treatment of vestibular schwannomas
  1. Abdul Rahman AL-Shudifat1,2,
  2. Babar Kahlon1,
  3. Peter Höglund1,
  4. Ahmed Y Soliman3,
  5. Kristoffer Lindskog1,
  6. Peter Siesjo1
  1. 1Department of Neurosurgery, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden
  2. 2Department of Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
  3. 3Department of Neurosurgery, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt
  1. Correspondence to Dr Abdul Rahman AL-Shudifat, Department of Neurosurgery, EA 4th floor, Lund University Hospital, Lund 22185, Sweden;{at}


Aims The aim of the present study was to identify predictive factors for outcome after surgery of vestibular schwannomas.

Design This is a retrospective study with partially collected prospective data of patients who were surgically treated for vestibular schwannomas at a single institution from 1979 to 2000. Patients with recurrent tumours, NF2 and those incapable of answering questionnaires were excluded from the study. The short form 36 (SF36) questionnaire and a specific questionnaire regarding neurological status, work status and independent life (IL) status were sent to all eligible patients.

Patients and methods The questionnaires were sent to 430 eligible patients (out of 537) and 395 (93%) responded. Scores for work capacity (WC) and IL were compared with SF36 scores as outcome estimates. Patients were divided into two groups (<64, ≥64-years-old) in order to assess them for either WC or IL. Putative preoperative and postoperative predictive factors were tested in univariate and multivariable regression analysis for the outcome scores of WC, IL and SF36.

Results In the group <64 years, age, gender and tumour diameter were independent predictive factors for postoperative WC in multivariate analysis. A high-risk group was identified in women with age >50 years and tumour diameter >25 mm. In patients ≥64, gender and tumour diameter were significant predictive factors for IL in univariate analysis. Perioperative and postoperative objective factors as length of surgery, blood loss and complications did not predict outcome in the multivariable analysis for any age group. Patients’ assessment of change in balance function was the only neurological factor that showed significance both in univariate and multivariable analysis in both age cohorts. While SF36 scores were lower in surgically treated patients in relation to normograms for the general population, they did not correlate significantly to WC and IL.

Conclusions The SF36 questionnaire did not correlate to outcome measures as WC and IL in patients undergoing surgery for vestibular schwannomas. Women and patients above 50 years with larger tumours have a high risk for reduced WC after surgical treatment. These results question the validity of quality of life scores in assessment of outcome after surgery of benign skullbase lesions.


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