The Center for Acoustic Neuroma Dallas, Texas

Tumor Classification / Size

Tumor size is often used to classify tumors. Acoustic Neuroma are classified as small, medium, large, or giant tumors. Tumor sizes range from small tumors measuring 1-2 millimeters to large tumors measuring several centimeters.

Small Tumor

(Also known as intracanalicular)—These tumors are completely confined to the internal auditory canal (IAC), the bony tunnel that carries the nerves from the brain to the inner ear. The small tumor does not extend intracranially—it is confined to the bony tunnel and does not spill into the brain cavity itself.

MRI Images of small Acoustic Neuroma

Medium Tumor

This tumor extends intracranially without touching the brainstem. Typically, the intracranial portion of the tumor is between 1-2 cm. These tumors may abut the brain itself but typically do not compress the brainstem or cause shift of the brain across the midline.

MRI Images of medium Acoustic Neuroma

Large Tumor

This tumor touches the brainstem without significant distortion of the brainstem. Size of this tumor is typically 2-3 cm. This tumor extends from the internal auditory canal into the intracranial space, compressing brain tissue but not pushing the brainstem significantly and not causing hydrocephalus, or increased pressure, within the brain cavity.

MRI Images of Large Acoustic Neuroma
MRI Images of Large Acoustic Neuroma

Giant Tumor

This tumor compresses the brainstem and is larger than 3 cm. Significant intracranial complications from the tumor can be present. When an Acoustic Neuroma reaches this size, it can cause dilation of the fluid filled spaces of the brain and create significant pressure within the brain cavity (hydrocephalus).

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