Acoustic neuroma risk factors

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Simrat Sarai, M.D. [2]


Common risk factors in the development of acoustic neuroma are neurofibromatosis type 2, radiation, exposure to loud noise, history of parathyroid adenoma, and the use of cellular phones.[1]

Risk Factors

The risk factors of acoustic neuroma include:

  • Neurofibromatosis type 2
    The known risk factor for acoustic neuroma is having a parent with the rare genetic disorder neurofibromatosis type 2. Neurofibromatosis type 2 is characterized by development of benign tumors on the VIII cranial nerve(balance nerves) on both sides of your head but it can affect other nerves too. NF2 is an autosomal:dominant disorder. The mutation can be passed on by just one parent(dominant gene). Each child of an affected parent has a 50% chance of inheriting it. NF2 occurs :with a frequency of 1 in 30,000 to 1 in 50,000 births. Neurofibromatosis type II occurs in individuals who have defective tumor suppressor gene located on chromosome :22q12.2. The defective protein produced by the gene is called merlin or schwannomin.[2][3]
  • Childhood exposure to radiation of the head and neck may be associated with acoustic neuroma.
  • There is a growing body of evidence that sporadic defects in tumor suppressor genes may give rise to acoustic neuromas in some individuals.
  • Exposure to high-dose ionizing radiation is the only definite environmental risk factor associated with an increased risk of developing an acoustic neuroma.
  • Exposure to loud noise on a consistent basis may give rise to acoustic neuromas.
  • A concomitant history of having had a parathyroid adenoma may have an increased risk of developing vestibular schwannoma.
  • The use of cellular phones may be associated with increased incidence of acoustic neuromas. Whether or not the radiofrequency radiation has anything to do with acoustic neuroma formation, remains to be seen.To date, no environmental factor (such as cell phones or diet) has been scientifically proven to cause these tumors. The Acoustic Neuroma Association (ANA) does recommend that frequent cellular phone users use a hands free device to enable separation of the device from the head.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Vestibular Schwannoma. Wikipedia(2015) Accessed on October 2 2015
  2. D. Bradley Welling, MD (1998). "Clinical Manifestations of Mutations in the Neurofibrornatosis Type 2 Gene in Vestibular Schwannornas (Acoustic Neurornas)". Laryngoscope. 
  3. Guy A.rouleau. Philippe Merel. Mohini Lutchman. Marc Sanson. Jessica Zucman. Cluade Marineau. (1993). "Alteration in a new gene encoding a putative membrane-organizing protein causes neuroma-fibromatosis type 2". Nature.