Anatomical considerations in the surgical management of blunt thoracic aortic injury.
PURPOSE: Blunt aortic injury (BAI) involving the thoracic aorta is usually described as occurring at the isthmus. We hypothesized that injuries 1 cm or less from the inferior border of the left subclavian artery (LSCA) are associated with an increased mortality rate compared with injuries that are more distal. METHODS: A retrospective review of patients admitted with the diagnosis of BAI was performed. Injuries were divided into two groups: group I, injuries that were 1 cm or less from the junction of the LSCA and the thoracic aorta; group II, injuries that were more than 1 cm from the LSCA. Primary outcome measures included cross-clamp time, rupture, and death. RESULTS: In a 14-year period, 122 patients were admitted with BAI. The anatomy relative to the LSCA could be determined in 91 patients who underwent operative repair. Forty-two injuries (46%) were classified as group I, and 49 injuries were classified as group II. Group I injuries were characterized by an increased mortality rate (18/42 or 43% in group I vs 11/49 or 22% in group II, P = .04), intraoperative rupture rate (7/42 or 17% in group I vs 1/49 or 2% in group II, P = .003), and cross-clamp time (39.5 +/- 21.9 minutes in group I vs 28.4 +/- 13 minutes in group II, P = .04). Three ruptures occurred while proximal control was being obtained. CONCLUSION: Increased technical difficulty and risk of rupture characterize injuries that occur proximally in the descending thoracic aorta, 1 cm from the LSCA. These injuries may be better managed by instituting bypass before attempting to obtain proximal control and by routinely clamping proximal to the LSCA. (+info)
Laryngeal recurrent nerve injury in surgery for benign thyroid diseases: effect of nerve dissection and impact of individual surgeon in more than 27,000 nerves at risk.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of recurrent nerve dissection on the incidence of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury (RLNI) and to analyze the performance of individual surgeons. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Dissection of the recurrent nerve is mandatory in total thyroidectomy, but its relative merit in less extensive resections is not clear. The reported rates of RLNI differ widely; this may reflect a variation in the performance of individual surgeons. METHODS: The authors studied the incidence of RLNI in primary surgery for benign thyroid disease during three periods in a single center. In period 1 (1979-1990; 9,385 consecutive patients, 15,865 nerves at risk), the recurrent nerve was not exposed. In period 2 (1991-1998; 6,128 patients, 10,548 nerves at risk), dissection of the recurrent nerve was the standard procedure. Global outcome and individual performance in these two periods were compared and presented to the surgeons. The effect of this quality control procedure was tested in 1999 (period 3; 930 patients, 1,561 nerves at risk). RESULTS: Exposure of the recurrent nerve significantly reduced the global rate of postoperative and permanent RLNI. Some but not all surgeons improved their results by recurrent nerve dissection (e.g., permanent RLNI rates ranged from 0% to 1.1%). The documented significant differences in individual performances did not affect the outcome in period 3. The extent of nerve dissection was a source of variability; the rate of permanent RLNI averaged 0.9%, 0.3%, and 0.1% for surgeons who only localized, partially exposed, and completely dissected the recurrent nerve, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Recurrent nerve dissection significantly reduces the risk of RLNI. Extensive dissection facilitates visual control of nerve integrity during resection and is therefore superior to a more limited exposure of the nerve. Quality control can improve the global outcome and identify the variability in individual performance. This cannot be eliminated by merely confronting surgeons with comparative data; hence, it is important to search for the underlying causes. (+info)
Teflon-induced granuloma: a false-positive finding with PET resolved with combined PET and CT.
Patients who have undergone thyroidectomy may have recurrent laryngeal nerve injury; until recently, Teflon injection was commonly used for vocal cord medialization. We present a case of a patient who underwent thyroidectomy who had significantly increased and unilateral (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake in the neck, which was found to be localized to the left vocal cord by use of combined positron emission tomography (PET) and CT, presumably because of a Teflon-induced granuloma. Knowledge of this potential source of false-positive PET interpretation because of its inability to precisely localize neoplastic lesions, and the use of combined PET and CT imaging, may allow precise diagnosis and prevention of unnecessary interventions. (+info)
Perceptual and instrumental evaluation of voice and tongue function after carotid endarterectomy.
OBJECTIVE: Laryngeal and tongue function was assessed in 28 patients to evaluate the presence, nature, and resolution of superior recurrent laryngeal and hypoglossal nerve damage resulting from standard open primary carotid endarterectomy (CEA). METHODS: The laryngeal and tongue function in 28 patients who underwent CEA were examined prospectively with various physiologic (Aerophone II, laryngograph, tongue transducer), acoustic (Multi-Dimensional Voice Program), and perceptual speech assessments. Measures were obtained from all participants preoperatively, and at 2 weeks and at 3 months postoperatively. RESULTS: The perceptual speech assessment indicated that the vocal quality of "roughness" was significantly more apparent at the 2-week postoperative assessment than preoperatively. However, by the 3-month postoperative assessment these values had returned to near preoperative levels, with no significant difference detected between preoperative and 3-month postoperative levels or between 2-week and 3-month postoperative levels. Both the instrumental assessments of laryngeal function and the acoustic assessment of vocal quality failed to identify any significant difference on any measure across the three assessment periods. Similarly, no significant impairment in tongue strength, endurance, or rate of repetitive tongue movements was detected at instrumental assessment of tongue function. CONCLUSIONS: No permanent changes to vocal or tongue function occurred in this group of participants after primary CEA. The lack of any significant long-term laryngeal or tongue dysfunction in this group suggests that the standard open CEA procedure is not associated with high rates of superior recurrent and hypoglossal nerve dysfunction, as previously believed. (+info)
Neuromonitoring in thyroid surgery: prospective evaluation of intraoperative electrophysiological responses for the prediction of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury.
OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the ability of neuromonitoring to predict postoperative outcome in patients undergoing thyroid surgery for different indications. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Neuromonitoring has been advocated to reduce the risk of vocal cord palsy and to predict postoperative vocal cord function. METHODS: Three hundred twenty-eight patients (502 nerves at risk) were studied prospectively at a single center. Neuromonitoring was performed with the Neurosign 100 device by transligamental placement of the recording electrode into the vocalis muscles. Cumulative distribution of stimulation thresholds was determined by stepwise decreases in current (1 mA to 0.05 mA) for both the vagus and the recurrent nerve. Patients were grouped according to surgical risk (benign and malignant disease, reoperation for benign and for malignant disease). RESULTS: If the electrophysiological response was correlated to postoperative vocal cord function, the sensitivity of neuromonitoring was modest (86% in surgery for benign disease) to low (25% in reoperation for malignant disease); the positive predictive value was modest (overall rate 62%) but acceptable (87%) if corrected for technical problems. Specificity and negative predictive values were high (ie, overall >95%). Stimulation thresholds were not augmented in 11 patients, in whom postoperative palsy developed despite normal intraoperative recordings. Similarly, an electrical field response was elicited in 14 of 21 patients with preoperative vocal cord palsy. Electromyographic recordings did not reveal an abnormal amplitude or a decline in nerve conduction velocity. CONCLUSIONS: Neuromonitoring is useful for identifying the recurrent laryngeal nerve, in particular if the anatomic situation is complicated by prior surgery, large tissue masses, aberrant nerve course. However, neuromonitoring does not reliably predict postoperative outcome. (+info)
Prospective study of postoperative complications after total thyroidectomy for multinodular goiters by surgeons with experience in endocrine surgery.
OBJECTIVES: (1) To show that total thyroidectomy (TT) can be performed in multinodular goiter (MG) by surgeons with experience in endocrine surgery with a definitive complication rate of 1% or less; and (2) to analyze the risk factors for complications in these patients. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: There is current controversy over the role of TT in the treatment of MG; although there are potential benefits, high rates of complications are not acceptable in surgery for a benign pathology. PATIENTS AND METHOD: A prospective study was conducted on 301 MGs meeting the following criteria: (1) bilateral MG; (2) no prior cervical surgery; (3) operation by surgeons with experience in endocrine surgery; (4) no associated parathyroid pathology; (5) no initial thoracic approach; and (6) minimum follow-up of 1 year. Age, sex, time of evolution, symptoms, cervical goiter grade, intrathoracic component, thyroid weight, and presence of associated carcinoma were analyzed as risk factors for complications. The chi test and a logistic regression analysis were applied. RESULTS: Complications were presented by 62 patients (21%), corresponding to 29 hypoparathyroidisms, 26 recurrent laryngeal nerve injuries, 4 lesions of the superior laryngeal nerve, 3 cervical hematomas, and 1 infection of the cervicotomy. The variables associated with the presence of these complications were hyperthyroidism (P = 0.0033), compressive symptoms (P = 0.0455), intrathoracic component (P = 0.0366), goiter grade (P = 0.0195), and weight of excised specimen (P = 0.0302); hyperthyroidism (relative risk [RR] 2.5) and intrathoracic component (RR 1.5) persisted as independent risk factors. Definitive complications appeared in 3 patients (1%), corresponding to 2 hypoparathyroidisms and 1 recurrent laryngeal nerve injury. Two cases corresponded to a toxic goiter, and the third to an intrathoracic goiter with compressive symptoms. CONCLUSION: In endocrine surgery units, TT can be performed for MG with a definitive complication rate of around 1%; the main independent risk factors for the development of complications are hyperthyroidism and goiter size. (+info)
Influence of muscle relaxation on neuromonitoring of the recurrent laryngeal nerve during thyroid surgery.
BACKGROUND: The influence of muscle relaxation on the intra-operative neuromonitoring of the recurrent laryngeal nerve during thyroid surgery is unclear. METHODS: In a prospective study involving 200 patients undergoing elective thyroid surgery, the influence of muscle relaxation on neuromonitoring of the recurrent laryngeal nerve was investigated. The patients received balanced anaesthesia with oxygen-nitrous oxide-isoflurane, and rocuronium bromide was used as the non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agent. The degree of relaxation was monitored continuously by accelerometry [twitch (% TW)]. Summed action potentials (SAcP) obtained from the vocalis muscle were characterized by the area under the electromyographic curve expressed in millivolt seconds. RESULTS: Evoked potentials were obtainable in all patients and at all time points. With decreasing neuromuscular blockade a significant increase in the potentials evoked at the vocalis muscle was observed. At 0% TW SAcP was 1.27 (SD 1.02) mV s. An increase in TW to 10% was accompanied by an increase in SAcP to 2.68 (2.01) mV s (P<0.01). At a TW of 25%, mean SAcPs of 5.08 mV s were recorded. CONCLUSIONS: There was a significant difference in the degree of relaxation of the adductor pollicis muscle and the vocalis muscle. The laryngeal muscles exhibited a shorter response time than the adductor pollicis and recovered more quickly. These results confirm the feasibility of intra-operative neuromonitoring of the recurrent laryngeal nerve during neuromuscular blockade. (+info)
Comparison of the complications of subtotal, near total and total thyroidectomy in the surgical management of multinodular goitre.
Purpose of the study is to compare complication rates of bilateral subtotal (BST), near total (NTT) and total thyroidectomy (TT) in a cohort of patients undergoing surgery for benign multinodular goitre (MNG). Seven hundred and fifty patients undergoing surgery for MNG were studied with a median follow-up of 53 months (range 18-102). There was no operative mortality in this group and no patients required urgent re-exploration for haematoma. After BST 14 patients (14/170 - 8.2%) developed transient hypocalcaemia and 4 patients (4/170 - 2.4%) had transient and one permanent (1/170 - 0.6%) recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) palsy. In NTT group 39 patients (39/320 - 12.2%) developed transient hypocalcaemia and 2 patients (0.6%) transient voice disturbances. None of the patients in this group experienced permanent complications. However, in TT group 78 patients had (78/260 - 30%) transient hypocalcaemia whereas only one patient (1/260 - 0.4%) suffered permanent hypoparathyroidism and 5 patients (5/260 - 1.9%) had temporary RLN injury but none of them remained permanent. There are only 2 (2/170 - 1.2%) recurrences and those patients are in BST group. All of the patients in BST group required at least 100 microg of thyroxine supplementation following the operation. These results demonstrate low permanent complication rates following thyroid surgery. Although the incidence of transient hypoparathyroidism increases with the extent of the resection, permanent complication rates are similar for all three surgical procedures. Even with short follow-up, there is a risk of recurrence with BST and therefore NTT or TT may be the operation of choice for MNG. (+info)