en
Scientific article
Open access
English

Safety of continuous intraoperative vagus nerve neuromonitoring during thyroid surgery

Published inBJS open, vol. 7, no. 3, zrad039
Publication date2023-05-05
Abstract

Background: Continuous intraoperative neuromonitoring has successfully demonstrated to predict impending damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve, by detecting changes in electromyographic recordings. Despite the apparent benefits associated with continuous intraoperative neuromonitoring, its safety is still a debate. The aim of this study was to investigate the electrophysiological impact of continuous intraoperative neuromonitoring on the vagus nerve.

Methods: In this prospective study, the amplitude of the electromyographic wave of the vagus nerve-recurrent laryngeal nerve axis was measured both proximally and distally to the stimulation electrode placed upon the vagus nerve. Electromyographic signal amplitudes were collected at three distinct events during the operation: during the dissection of the vagus nerve, before application of the continuous stimulation electrode onto the vagus nerve and after its removal.

Results: In total, 169 vagus nerves were analysed, among 108 included patients undergoing continuous intraoperative neuromonitoring-enhanced endocrine neck surgeries. Electrode application resulted in a significant overall decrease in measured proximo-distal amplitudes of -10.94 µV (95 per cent c.i. -17.06 to -4.82 µV) (P < 0.005), corresponding to a mean(s.d.) decrease of -1.4(5.4) per cent. Before the removal of the electrode, the measured proximo-distal difference in amplitudes was -18.58 µV (95 per cent c.i. -28.31 to -8.86 µV) (P < 0.005), corresponding to a mean(s.d.) decrease of -2.50(9.59) per cent. Seven nerves suffered a loss of amplitude greater than 20 per cent of the baseline measurement.

Conclusion: In addition to supporting claims that continuous intraoperative neuromonitoring exposes the vagus nerve to injury, this study shows a mild electrophysiological impact of continuous intraoperative neuromonitoring electrode placement on the vagus nerve-recurrent laryngeal nerve axis. However, the small observed differences are negligible and were not associated with a clinically relevant outcome, making continuous intraoperative neuromonitoring a safe adjunct in selected thyroid surgeries.

eng
Keywords
  • Humans
  • Thyroid Gland
  • Prospective Studies
  • Thyroidectomy / adverse effects
  • Thyroidectomy / methods
  • Vagus Nerve / physiology
  • Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve / physiology
Citation (ISO format)
MATHIESON, Timothy et al. Safety of continuous intraoperative vagus nerve neuromonitoring during thyroid surgery. In: BJS open, 2023, vol. 7, n° 3, p. zrad039. doi: 10.1093/bjsopen/zrad039
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Identifiers
ISSN of the journal2474-9842
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