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Title of Journal: World J Surg

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Abbravation: World Journal of Surgery

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Results of Intraoperative Neuromonitoring in Thyroid Surgery and Preoperative Vocal Cord Paralysis

Authors: Kerstin Lorenz, Mohammed Abuazab, Carsten Sekulla, Rick Schneider, Phuong Nguyen Thanh, Henning Dralle,

Publish Date: 2013/12/18
Volume: 38, Issue:3, Pages: 582-591
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Systematic studies of intermittent intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) have shown that IONM enhances recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) identification via functional assessment, but does not significantly reduce rates of vocal cord (VC) paralysis (VCP). The reliability of functional nerve assessment depends on the preoperative integrity of VC mobility. The present study was therefore performed to analyze the validity of IONM in patients with pre-existing VC paralysis.Of 8,128 patients, 285 (3.5 %) with preoperative VCP underwent thyroid surgery using standardized IONM of the RLN and vagus nerves (VNs). VC function was assessed by pre- and postoperative direct videolaryngoscopy. Quantitative parameters of IONM in patients with VCP were compared with IONM in patients with intact VC function. Clinical symptoms and surgical outcomes of patients with pre-existing VCP were analyzed.A total of 244 patients revealed negative, and 41 revealed positive IONM on the side of the VCP. VCP with positive IONM revealed significantly lower amplitudes of VN and RLN than intact VN (p = 0.010) and RLN (p = 0.011). Symptoms of patients with VCP included hoarseness (25 %), dyspnea (29 %), stridor (13 %), and dysphagia (13 %); 13 % were asymptomatic. New VCP occurred in five patients, ten needed tracheostomy for various reasons, and one patient died.Patients with pre-existing VCP revealed significantly reduced amplitude of ipsilateral VN and RLN, indicating retained nerve conductivity despite VC immobility. Preoperative laryngoscopy is therefore indispensable for reliable IONM and risk assessment, even in patients without voice abnormalities.



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