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Evaluation Of Intraoperative Recurrent Nerve Monitoring In Thyroid Surgery

G. Beldi, T. Kinsbergen, R. Schlumpf
Published 2004 · Medicine

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Surgical exposure of the recurrent laryngeal nerve decreases the incidence of nerve injuries during thyroid surgery. Intraoperative neuromonitoring was introduced to facilitate identification and protection of the recurrent laryngeal nerve. Between February 1996 and June 2002 a total of 288 patients underwent thyroid surgery with intraoperative identification and intraoperative neuromonitoring of the recurrent laryngeal nerve. The overall incidences of permanent and transient recurrent nerve palsy (considered as a percentage of the nerves at risk) were 1.4% and 8.7%, respectively. Results were stratified in benign, malignant, and recurrent thyroid disease. Intraoperative function testing revealed a positive predictive value of 33% and negative predictive value of 99%. We concluded that the incidence of recurrent nerve lesions in benign, malignant, and recurrent thyroid disease was not lowered by the use of intraoperative neuromonitoring. Although an intact nerve can be verified by the neuromonitoring, the loss of nerve function cannot be reliably identified.
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