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Pilocytic Astrocytoma Tumor

      Re: Pilocytic Astrocytoma Tumor

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Posted by ccf neuro M.D. on April 14, 1997 at 21:55:45:

In Reply to: Pilocytic Astrocytoma Tumor posted by Dee on April 08, 1997 at 09:34:36:

: This Message was posted by: Dee -  4/6/97 6:50:39 PM
  Hello, I hope you can help me. I have recently had surgery for a pilocytic astrocytoma (2/14/97). Fortunately the tumor was
  benign. I have been searching the internet for some input on a symptom which seems, I'm told by my doctors, unusual. I have a
  great deal of head noise, i.e. it sounds like I have an airplane engine going on in my head at all times. I can hear people who
  speak to me, however I can hear little else. I can not use the phone, or hear conversation behind me. My doctors have not
  been able to detect a problem with my hearing, inner or middle ear. Surgery was supposedly a great success. I am fully
  functioning otherwise. In my doctors search he can not find another with the same symptom. Surgery was 2/14/97 and the
  noise has not subsided. I was taking Decadron and Tagament. I am not an any medication at this time. I have gone for an
  MRI, MRA, MRV and lasting a Spinal Tap. I am a 42 year old female. Dr. Camel from
  reenwich, CT performed the surgery at Greenwich Hospita I have alos consulted with Dr. Posner from Sloan Kettering in
  New York. Both Doctors have consulted with one another and many, many of their colleagues. Any suggestions or comments
  would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. Dona Menton
  Sorry if you receive this message twice - i was having a little trouble with my Email Thank you
The medical term applied to roaring noise heard in one's ears is tinnitus. If your tumor was anywhere near the areas of the brain where hearing is processed, there is a small possibility that the symptom could be related to the surgery. Also, sometimes fistulas, or abnormal communications, can occur between arteries and veind, resulting in abnormally brisk blood flow through a blood vessel in the ear that may produce this symptom, although usually this is pulsatile. A "dural arteriovenous malformation" is another very rare complication of brain surgeries where such an abnormal communication between blood vessels occurs, but in this case in the blood vessels SURROUNDING the outside of the brain. This particular problem is very difficult to diagnose and is sometimes not detected by an MRI scan, although in your case your doctors took the additional wise step of ordering the MRA and MRV as well, which should have probably detected even this rare problem. There are some very rare variants of HEADACHES, such as
"thunderclap headache" that can produce unusual noises in people's heads. If this is the cause of your symptoms, it is coincidence that it popped up after surgery. If you are desperate, you could have a test called a BAEP (brainstem auditory evoked potential) performed to test the FUNCTIONAL integrity of your hearing system, and/or have a special protocol MRI scan that is designed to look for tumors called acoustic neuromas that grow within the eigth cranial nerve, which is responsible for balance and hearing. Such tumors often present with slow hearing loss but in only ONE ear typically, but can rarely present with tinnitus instead. I cannot think of any other neurologic diseases that could cause such an unusual symptom. You may wish to share this response with your doctor. I'd bet s/he's probably already considered most or all of these ideas, but it can't hurt. Your evaluation has certainly been thorough.

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