Vol 50, No 2 (2016)

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Epidermoid cysts of the cerebellopontine angle: Clinical features and treatment outcomes

Tomasz Czernicki1, Przemysław Kunert1, Arkadiusz Nowak1, Jakub Wojciechowski1, Andrzej Marchel1
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2015.11.008
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2016;50(2):75-82.



To report clinical characteristics, treatment outcomes and risk of recurrence in patients with surgically treated cerebellopontine angle epidermoids.


In 1994–2013, we operated 17 patients, including 7 with tumor limited to the cerebellopontine angle, 7 with cerebellopontine angle tumor penetrating supratentorially, and 3 with cerebellopontine angle tumor extending along skull base to contralateral cerebellopontine angle. All patients were followed-up for the mean duration of 126 months.


On admission cranial nerve symptoms predominated. Total tumor removal was achieved in 5 patients, and incomplete removal (with small tumor remnants left on vessels, nerves, or brainstem) in 12 patients. Postoperatively, preoperative deficits worsened in 2 and new postoperative deficits occurred in 10 patients. The extent of tumor expansion had no effect on postoperative morbidity and risk of recurrence. During long-term follow-up, improvement or resolution of preoperative deficits was seen in 11 of 17 patients, and new postoperative deficits in 8 of 10 patients. Symptomatic recurrences after an average of more than 9 years were noted in 5 patients, 3 of whom were reoperated. Recurrences occurred in some younger patients and always in area of primary tumor. No effect of extent of tumor removal on risk of recurrence was found.


The extent of tumor removal had no effect on the risk of recurrence, and thus it may be acceptable to leave tumor capsule fragments adhering closely to nerves, vessels, or brainstem. During long-term follow-up, resolution or improvement of present preoperatively and new postoperative neurological deficits may be expected in most patients.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska