During the last 26 years the annual number of diagnosed vestibular schwannomas (VS) has been increasing. The aim of this study is to describe and analyse this increase. Since 1976, 1446 new cases of VS have been diagnosed at the authors' centre. Special focus was on the age at diagnosis, the localization and the size of the tumour. The size of the tumour was registered as either intrameatal or with the largest extrameatal diameter. The annual number of diagnosed VS has increased from 26 in 1976 to 101 in 2001. The size of the diagnosed tumours has decreased from a median of 35 mm in 1979 to 10 mm in 2001. In the first years large and giant tumours dominated, in contrast to recent years in which intrameatal and small tumours dominated. The median age at the time of diagnosis has been almost unchanged through the period (median 55 years). If the decreasing size of the tumour and the increasing incidence of VS can be explained only by earlier diagnosis and easier access to magnetic resonance (MR) scanning it should be expected that the median age at the time of diagnosis would decrease simultaneously. In this study, the median age at the time of diagnosis has been almost unchanged throughout the 26-year period. This paradox can be explained by the fact that, with easier access to MR scanning, the examination has been offered also to elderly patients, in whom the small and intrameatal tumours dominate.
|Tidsskrift||Journal of Laryngology and Otology|
|Status||Udgivet - 1 aug. 2004|