Gamma Knife radiosurgery for vestibular schwannomas and quality of life evaluation

Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2017;95(3):166–73. DOI: 10.1159/000472156. Epub 2017 May 23.
Berkowitz O, Han YY, Talbott EO, Iyer AK, Kano H, Kondziolka D, Brown MA, Lunsford LD.

Further investigation is needed to look at the impact of vestibular schwannoma (VS) on the health-related quality of life (QOL) of participants who undergo Gamma Knife® radiosurgery (GKRS).

Investigators compared the QOL for VS participants to reported US population norms in order to evaluate disease burden and long-term QOL several years after GKRS.

This cross-sectional study surveyed participants to assess hearing status, tinnitus, imbalance, vertigo, as well as the Short-Form 36-item Health Questionnaire (SF-36). The data were normalized, age adjusted, and functional status was correlated to determine clinically significant differences.

A total of 353 participants who underwent GKRS between 1997 and 2007 were included in this study with a median postoperative period of 5 years. SF-36 scores were very similar to population norms, and age-adjusted scores for participants followed the US population curve. Frequent vertigo and balance problems had the largest statistically and clinically significant effect on physical and mental component summary scores followed by nonuseful hearing in the tumor ear.

Participants reported a good long-term QOL that was very similar to the QOL of US population norms. Of the common VS symptoms, vertigo had the greatest impact on QOL followed by imbalance and then hearing loss.