Macrophage Density Predicts Facial Nerve Outcome and Tumor Growth after Subtotal Resection of Vestibular Schwannoma

Christopher S. Graffeo, Avital Perry, Aditya Raghunathan, Trynda N. Kroneman, Mark Jentoft, Colin L. Driscoll, Brian A. Neff, Matthew L. Carlson, Jeffrey Jacob, Michael J. Link, Jamie J. Van Gompel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction Vestibular schwannoma (VS) behavior following subtotal resection (STR) is highly variable. Overall progression rates have been reported as high as 44%, and optimal treatment is controversial. Correspondingly, identification of a reliable clinical or pathologic marker associated with progression after STR would help guide decision-making. Methods A prospectively maintained institutional VS registry from 1999 to 2014 was retrospectively reviewed for sporadic VS patients who underwent primary STR without preceding stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) by a single neurosurgery-neurotology team. Primary endpoints included tumor progression and postoperative facial nerve function. Pathologic specimens were stained for Ki67, CD68, S100, and SOX10 and were quantitated by digital imaging analysis. Macrophage density was defined as the ratio of CD68 + macrophages to S100 + macrophages and Schwannian tumor cells. Clinical outcomes were correlated with pathologic markers. Results Forty-six patients met the study inclusion criteria. Thirteen (28%) progressed during a mean 57 months of follow-up (range 15-149). Favorable postoperative facial nerve function (House-Brackmann I-II) was achieved in 37 (80%). CD68 + cells were present at significantly higher concentrations in tumors that progressed (p = 0.03). Higher macrophage density was significantly associated with both tumor progression (p = 0.02) and unfavorable facial nerve function (p = 0.02). Ki67 percent positivity was not significantly associated with either primary endpoint (p = 0.83; p = 0.58). Conclusions Macrophage density may provide an important marker for individuals at the highest risk for progression of VS after STR, potentially prompting closer surveillance or consideration for upfront SRS following STR. This finding supports preceding conclusions that an intratumoral macrophage-predominant inflammatory response may be a marker for tumor growth and a potential therapeutic target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-488
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 7 2018


  • macrophage density
  • macrophages
  • subtotal resection
  • tumor progression
  • tumor recurrence
  • vestibular schwannoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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