How does neural monitoring help during thyroid sugery for Graves' disease?

J Clin Transl Endocrinol. 2018 Nov 20;15:6-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jcte.2018.11.002. eCollection 2019 Mar.


We evaluate the role of intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) in thyroidectomy performed for Graves' disease (GD) with an emphasis on recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) management and completeness of resection. The study is a retrospective series comprising 55 thyroidectomy (control group) versus 82 procedures with intermittent IONM (I-IONM) and 72 by means of continuous IONM (C-IONM). In the control group the laryngeal nerves have been identified by visualization solely. In the I-IONM group both vagal nerve (VN) and RLN have been localized and monitored during thyroid resection. C-IONM was achieved with a vagal stimulation probe. I-IONM group had shorter operating times (P = 0.032). RLN morbidity, meaning palsy rate, was 2.7% in the C-IONM group, 3.6% in I-IONM and 5.4% in the control group (P = 0.058). The proportion of complete procedures (total or near total resections) were significantly higher using monitoring technology (P = 0.049). Persistent positive serum TBII values were found in 25 (45%), 25 (30%) and 20 (27%) patients at 12 months in the control, I-IONM and C-IONM groups respectively (P = 0,04). IONM is an effective technology in GD patients.

Keywords: Graves’ disease; Morbidity; Neural monitoring; Recurrent laryngeal nerve; Thyroid surgery.