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December 1964

Historical Review and Problem of Acoustic Neuroma

Arch Otolaryngol. 1964;80(6):601-604. doi:10.1001/archotol.1964.00750040617002

The first successful removal of an acoustic neuroma was accomplished by Ballance1 in 1894. Between 1894 and 1910, a number of successful surgical removals of acoustic tumors were reported, but the mortality rate of most series approximated 80%. Continued surgical efforts, in the face of such terrifying mortality figures, were justified only if the patient were certain to die if not operated. A number of techniques for the removal of these frightful lesions were explored, and gradually the best methods of removal were standardized.

In the early 1900's very few intracranial tumors were diagnosed. Most patients dying from these lesions were thought to have late manifestations of syphilis. In centers where autopsies were being performed, the various clinical pictures associated with intracranial lesions were gradually recognized. In this era, the diagnosis of an intracranial neoplasm was rarely made until the patient had advanced signs of increased intracranial pressure.


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