The role of magnetic resonance imaging in the identification of suspected acoustic neuroma: a systematic review of clinical and cost effectiveness and natural history.

Health Technology Assessment : HTA
H FortnumC Mulvaney

Abstract

To evaluate the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a range of diagnostic strategies for investigating patients with unilateral hearing loss and/or tinnitus, with a view to confirming or eliminating a diagnosis of acoustic neuroma, and to describe the natural history of acoustic neuroma. Major electronic databases were searched from January 1980 to August 2008. Selected studies were assessed and subjected to data extraction and quality assessment using standard methods. Studies comparing auditory brainstem response (ABR) with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging were highly heterogeneous. ABR has high sensitivity compared with MR imaging for acoustic neuromas greater than 1 cm in size but not for smaller neuromas. The sensitivities of T2-weighted (T2W) and T2-star-weighted (T2*W) imaging strategies compared with gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted (GdT1W) MR imaging (gold standard) were high and relatively homogeneous. The specificity of T2W and T2*W studies ranged from 90% to 100% and from 86% to 99% respectively. The review of cost-effectiveness showed that GdT1W MR imaging immediately or in conjunction with ABR appears to be more cost-effective than 'traditional' protocols; ABR/GdT1W MR imaging protocols were more cost-e...Continue Reading

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