by Wei Wang, Donghui Chen, Shicai Chen, Ding Li, Meng Li, Siwen Xia, Hongliang Zheng
To evaluate the long-term efficacy of delayed laryngeal reinnervation using the main branch of the ansa cervicalis in treatment of unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP) caused by thyroid surgery. Summary of Background Data
UVFP remains a serious complication of thyroid surgery. Up to now, a completely satisfactory surgical treatment of UVFP has been elusive. Methods
From Jan. 1996 to Jan. 2008, a total of 237 UVFP patients who underwent ansa cervicalis main branch-to-recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) anastomosis were enrolled as UVFP group; another 237 age- and gender-matched normal subjects served as control group. Videostroboscopy, vocal function assessment (acoustic analysis, perceptual evaluation and maximum phonation time), and electromyography were performed preoperatively and postoperatively. The mean follow-up period was 5.2±2.7 years, ranging from 2 to 12 years. Results
Analysis of videostroboscopic findings indicated that the glottic closure, vocal fold edge, vocal fold position, phase symmetry and regularity were significantly improved in the UVFP group (P<0.001, postoperative vs. preoperative). The postoperative parameters of vocal function were also significantly improved in the UVFP group (P<0.001) and showed no statistical differences compared to the control group (P>0.05, respectively). Postoperative laryngeal electromyography confirmed successful reinnervation of laryngeal muscle. Conclusions
Delayed laryngeal reinnervation with the main branch of ansa cervicalis is a feasible and effective approach for treatment of thyroid surgery-related UVFP; it can restore the physiological laryngeal phonatory function to the normal or a nearly normal voice quality.