Auditory Nerve Test System During Vestibular Schwannoma Resection

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    Washington University School of Medicine
Updated on 28 March 2021
cochlear implant
stereotactic radiation
schwannoma resection
tumor resection
sensorineural hearing loss
hard of hearing
vestibular schwannoma


The Auditory Nerve Test System (ANTS) is a novel device that stimulates the auditory nerve much like a cochlear implant. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate feasibility of the ANTS during translabyrinthine surgery for vestibular schwannoma resection. If the auditory nerve is kept intact, then the patients will also receive a cochlear implant at the same time potentially alleviating the morbidities caused by a vestibular schwannoma and asymmetric sensorineural hearing loss.


Many patients diagnosed with a vestibular schwannoma (also called acoustic neuroma) eventually lose hearing in the afflicted ear. Improvements in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have led to tumors being diagnosed at smaller sizes, however, this has not changed the eventual demise in hearing for most patients. Hearing loss leads to tinnitus, poor sound localization, difficulty hearing in background noise, and imbalance all of which contribute to the decreased quality of life associated with a vestibular schwannoma diagnosis.

Some tumors may be resected while maintaining the integrity of the auditory nerve. When a patient has hearing, the health of the auditory nerve can be monitored during the surgery through auditory-evoked (sound) measurements. When a patient has already lost their hearing or the surgical approach sacrifices all residual hearing, then auditory-evoked measurements can no longer be used and there is no way to monitor the auditory nerve aside from visual inspection.

The Auditory Nerve Test System (ANTS) is a novel device designed to facilitate electrically-evoked auditory nerve monitoring. The ANTS is comprised of three parts: a test electrode, connector cable, and stimulator box. The test electrode functions like a mini-cochlear implant placed within the cochlea during a translabyrinthine surgery. During tumor resection the test electrode electrically stimulates the auditory nerve allowing surgeons to monitor electrophysiologic data on the health of the auditory nerve. The primary goal of this study is to assess the ANTS during translabyrinthine vestibular schwannoma resections.

If patient are able to maintain an intact auditory nerve following vestibular schwannoma resection then a cochlear implant will be placed during the same surgery. Secondary outcomes measures will investigate cochlear implant outcomes and patient quality of life following this procedure and over the first year of using their cochlear implant. These secondary outcomes will be measured at 3-months, 6-months, and 12-months following cochlear implant activation. The test will assess how well the cochlear implant is working, the cochlear implant's impact on sound localization and hearing in background noise, and finally various aspects relevant to the patient's quality of life (tinnitus, balance, hearing, and overall quality of life).

Condition Acoustic Neuroma, Acoustic Nerve, Cochlear Nerve, Skull Base Neoplasms, Sensorineural hearing loss, Disorders of acoustic nerve, Hearing Loss, Nerve deafness, Auditory Loss and Deafness, Hearing Impairment, Asymmetric Sensorineural Hearing Loss, Cochlear Nerve Damage, vestibular schwannoma
Treatment Auditory Nerve Test System
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04241679
SponsorWashington University School of Medicine
Last Modified on28 March 2021

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