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Unusual manifestation of cerebellopontine angle medulloblastoma with tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss


BACKGROUND. Medulloblastoma is the most common central nervous system embryonal tumor in children. In adults, this tumor is extremely rare, accounting for nearly 1% of primary brain tumors. Raised intracranial pressure signs are common manifestations of posterior fossa tumors, but tinnitus and/or sensorineural hearing loss are very uncommon presenting symptoms.

MATERIAL AND METHODS. Starting from a very rare case of a 39-year-old male with left tinnitus and progressive left sensorineural hearing loss as isolated symptoms of a medulloblastoma, we performed a literature survey using the PubMed, ProQuest, Web of Science, Science Direct, Wiley Online search engines for patients with medulloblastoma and tinnitus and/or sensorineural hearing loss.

RESULTS. All patients found in the relevant literature with auditory dysfunctions presented sensorineural hearing loss. Other frequent manifestations were: ataxia, facial numbness, vertigo, headache, nystagmus. Two patients were found with tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss as isolated symptoms of medulloblastoma, as in our case, and in two other cases the sensorineural hearing loss was the unique symptom. With refers to the onset of medulloblastoma, just 3 patients had the first symptoms sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus.

Concerning the tumor location, in patients manifested with isolated tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss, like our patient, the tumor arised from the internal auditory meatus, extended to the cerebellopontine angle or involved the vestibulocochlear nerve.

With regards to treatment, surgery in association with radiotherapy and chemotherapy was elected in most cases (38%).

CONCLUSION. It is important to pay attention at patients with isolated auditory dysfunction that may mimic significant posterior fossa tumors, such as a medulloblastoma.