Hearing Impairment in Pineal Tumors

Bader N. Kashlan, Jordan Chick, Osama N. Kashlan, Suresh Ramnath

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA


1-3-e48-2015

BACKGROUND: Patients with pineal tumors commonly present with symptoms due to increased intracranial pressure and tectal deformation.  However, hearing loss and tinnitus are likely under-represented, underestimated symptoms caused by pineal tumors. 

CASE DESCRIPTION:  A 32-year-old male presented with symptoms of acute lethargy, confusion, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and slurred speech in addition to subacute visual and hearing impairment.  Prior to his acute presentation, both an audiogram and a brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) test were performed and found to be normal.  He was found to have a large pineal germinoma, which was debulked.  His subjective hearing impairment improved postoperatively with the rest of his symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: The case presented demonstrates the importance of proceeding with intracranial imaging in patients with subjective auditory symptoms, even with normal audiologic testing, and serves as a reminder for the clinician to keep pineal tumors in the differential diagnosis for hearing loss/tinnitus. Journal of Nature and Science, 1(3):e48, 2015.




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