Use of DTT to Define Facial Nerve Position in Vestibular Schwannomas
Acoustic Neuroma / Posted 3 weeks ago
Vestibular schwannomas (VS) arise from the vestibulocochlear (hearing and balance) nerve, located at the base of the brain. Although benign, VS can enlarge over time, resulting in debilitating symptoms; therefore, surgical removal is frequently offered. One significant risk of surgery is inadvertent injury to the facial nerve, which lies adjacent to the vestibulocochlear nerve. Currently, the nerve’s course is only revealed during surgical dissection and injury can cause permanent facial weakness. It would therefore be useful for the surgeon to know the course of the nerve before operating. To this end, a new MRI technique known as probabilistic diffusion tensor tractography (DTT) has shown potential in revealing the course of the facial nerve pre-operatively. However, its clinical reliability remains uncertain.
This study aims to investigate the reliability of DTT in identifying the course of the facial nerve preoperatively in patients undergoing surgery for VS.
The future benefit would be to enable surgeons to operate with more confidence and potentially reduce the chance of nerve injury.
The study will recruit adult patients due to have surgery for VS. The only change to the participants’ clinical pathways will be the addition of a DTT sequence to their pre-operative MRI scans (increasing scanning time by approximately 10 minutes)