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Diagnosing an acoustic neuroma involves several steps. Your doctor typically starts by asking about your medical history, including any previous illnesses. Your doctor will also ask about your family history, your habits, and your lifestyle.
Doctors use a neurological exam to diagnose an acoustic neuroma. During this exam, your doctor looks for changes to your hearing and balance. These changes can be signs of a tumor.
Imaging tests that take pictures of your brain and the areas around it also help diagnose an acoustic neuroma. Doctors use a variety of imaging technologies, each offering different insights to confirm the presence and location of a tumor.
MRI to diagnose an acoustic neuroma Our doctors prefer to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm the presence of an acoustic neuroma. This test uses radio waves and magnets to create images of brain structures. A technologist or nurse may perform this scan by injecting contrast dye into your arm to illuminate the tumor’s location.
CT scan to diagnose acoustic neuroma Some people cannot have an MRI because the magnets interfere with implanted medical devices such as pacemakers and cochlear implants. Computed tomography (CT) scans combine multiple X-rays and provide doctors with another way to see structures in the brain. They can miss small tumors, however.
Clinical trials evaluate new approaches, devices, or medications in the treatment of acoustic neuromas. Ask your doctor or clinical trials coordinator about available trials that may be additional options for your care.
To learn more about the clinical trials we offer, contact Maria Coburn at 650-736-9551.