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Laryngoscope. 2018 Oct;128(10):2429-2432. doi: 10.1002/lary.27144. Epub 2018 Feb 26.

Continuous vagal monitoring value in prevention of vocal cord paralysis following thyroid surgery.

Author information

1
Division of Endocrine and Oncological Surgery, Department of Surgery, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana.
2
Division of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS:

Continuous intraoperative neuromonitoring (CIONM) of the vagus nerve was proposed to obtained frequent repetitive electromyography (EMG) data to recognize early change in intraoperative function of the recurrent laryngeal nerve. We examine our initial experience using this technology.

STUDY DESIGN:

Retrospective review.

METHODS:

Data for all patients who underwent neck surgery by a single surgeon at a North American institution over a 5-year period were reviewed. CIONM was used in cases with possible higher risk of traction injury and according to surgeon preference. In these cases, stretch injury was established by warning alarm with threshold of ≥50% reduction in amplitude and/or ≥ 10% increase in latency. Preoperative and postoperative direct laryngoscopy was performed for all patients.

RESULTS:

A total of 879 endocrine neck surgeries were performed. CIONM was used to monitor 455 recurrent laryngeal nerves (RLNs) in 344 (39.1%) surgeries. An automatic periodic stimulation (APS) alarm detected impending nerve injury in 33 (9.6%) cases by 64.9% ± 12.7% decrease in amplitude and by 27.3% increase in latency in one case. A total loss of signal (LOS) was detected in 15 (4.36%) cases. The immediate release of causative retraction successfully preserved the nerves in all cases with impending injury; however, there was no improvement in the LOS cases. Other than the cases with LOS, postoperative laryngoscopy showed normal vocal cord function in all cases.

CONCLUSIONS:

APS technology is safe, feasible, and helpful in approximately 10% of cases in our series, which developed nascent neurapraxia adverse EMG changes associated with intraoperative RLN stretch that could be reversed intraoperatively.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

4. Laryngoscope, 128:2429-2432, 2018.

KEYWORDS:

Automated periodic stimulation; continuous intraoperative nerve monitoring; recurrent laryngeal nerve injury

PMID:
29481696
DOI:
10.1002/lary.27144
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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