Vocal Cord Function During Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Injury Assessed by Accelerometry and EMG
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Objective Gradual impairment of nerve conduction is expected to be tightly associated with simultaneous gradual loss of vocal cord contractility, related to the fact that injured axons are connected to a defined number of muscle cells. In clinical studies, there is a time gap between observed adverse electromyographic (EMG) changes and examination of vocal cord function. This study evaluates the impact of intraoperative EMG changes on synchronous vocal cord contractility by simultaneous use of continuous intraoperative neuromonitoring (C‐IONM) and accelerometry for registration of actual vocal cord function at a given change of EMG amplitude. Methods EMG was obtained following vagus nerve stimulation by use of C‐IONM. A vocal cord accelerometer probe that could be attached to the vocal cords was developed based on a LIS3DH ultra low‐power high performance three axis linear accelerometer (STMicroelectronics, Geneva, Switzerland). Accelerometer data were registered continuously together with EMG data during traction injury of the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) until an amplitude depression ≤100 μV. Results Six RLN from four immature domestic pigs were studied. Vocal cord contractility assessed by vocal cord accelerometry decreased in parallel with EMG amplitude, with significant correlations ranging from 0.707 to 0.968. Conclusion Decrease of EMG amplitude during traction injury to the RLN injury is closely associated with a parallel drop in vocal cord contractility.