What is Acoustic Neuroma?
Each heading slides to reveal information.
Vestibular Schwannoma or Acoustic Neuroma?
Originally these tumors were thought to arise from the cochlear (acoustic) nerve. With improved histopathology, they were determined to arise from the vestibular nerve, but the name acoustic neuroma stuck.
While the terms acoustic neuroma and vestibular schwannoma have been used interchangeably it is more pathologically correct that their name should reflect their nerve of origin and histopathology – hence the term vestibular schwannoma (VS).
A schwannoma, also known as a Schwann cell tumor, is a benign tumor that develops in the protective sheathing surrounding the nerve cells, called myelin. Schwann cells are the building blocks of that myelin, so schwannomas can develop anywhere Schwann cells are present. When a schwannoma develops in the Schwann cells of the eighth cranial nerve — also called the vestibulocochlear or acoustic nerve because it connects the ear to the brain — it is called a vestibular schwannoma (or acoustic neuroma). The tumor usually arises from the vestibular division of the vestibulocochlear nerve, rather than the cochlear division and it is derived from the Schwann cells of the associated nerve, rather than the actual neurons (neuromas).