Acoustic neuroma in a private neurotology practice: trends in demographics and practice patterns.


OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS To determine whether changes in demographics and management of patients with acoustic neuromas occurred between the years 1990 and 2005. STUDY DESIGN Retrospective chart review. METHODS Charts of all 614 patients with a diagnosis of acoustic neuroma, excluding neurofibromatosis-2, from 1990 through 2005 were reviewed. Age at diagnosis, tumor size, hearing, and initial therapy (observation, stereotactic radiation, or surgical excision) were obtained. Patients were grouped by time period (1990-1994, 1995-2000, 2001-2005). RESULTS Mean age at diagnosis increased slightly from the middle period (53.4 yr) to the most recent (56.9 yr) (P < or = .025). The proportion of patients 65 years or older increased from 21% to 29% to 32%, respectively, but the change was not significant. Average tumor size decreased from 1.7 cm initially to 1.4 cm most recently (P < or = .039). There were no significant changes in hearing. Although surgical excision remains our most common treatment (58.5% in 2001-2005), it is becoming less frequent (>80% in earlier periods) (P < or = .001). Observation with serial imaging was recommended in 37.3% in 2001 to 2005 as compared with 18.3% and 11.6% in the previous two time periods (P < or = .001). These changes in initial treatment choices occurred for all age groups and primarily for small tumors. Use of radiation has increased only slightly, to 4.2% in the recent period. CONCLUSION : Patients with acoustic neuroma are presenting with increased age and smaller tumors compared with 16 years ago. However, these changes cannot totally account for the large change in treatment trends. Technology and demographics are influential in these changes, but other difficult to measure forces, such as patient influence and patient use of the Internet, are also factors.

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@article{Chen2007AcousticNI, title={Acoustic neuroma in a private neurotology practice: trends in demographics and practice patterns.}, author={Douglas A Chen}, journal={The Laryngoscope}, year={2007}, volume={117 11}, pages={2003-12} }