New strategy for intraoperative phonosurgical management of recurrent laryngeal nerve infiltrated by thyroid carcinoma

Langenbecks Arch Surg. 2024 Apr 27;409(1):138. doi: 10.1007/s00423-024-03323-x.


PURPOSE: Treating an infiltration of the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) by thyroid carcinoma remains a subject of ongoing debate. Therefore, this study aims to provide a novel strategy for intraoperative phenosurgical management of RLN infiltrated by thyroid carcinoma.

METHODS: Forty-two patients with thyroid carcinoma infiltrating the RLN were recruited for this study and divided into three groups. Group A comprised six individuals with medullary thyroid cancer who underwent RLN resection and arytenoid adduction. Group B consisted of 29 differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC)patients who underwent RLN resection and ansa cervicalis (ACN)-to-RLN anastomosis. Group C included seven patients whose RLN was preserved.

RESULTS: The videostroboscopic analysis and voice assessment collectively indicated substantial improvements in voice quality for patients in Groups A and B one year post-surgery. Additionally, the shaving technique maintained a normal or near-normal voice in Group C one year post-surgery.

CONCLUSION: The new intraoperative phonosurgical strategy is as follows: Resection of the affected RLN and arytenoid adduction is required in cases of medullary or anaplastic carcinoma, regardless of preoperative RLN function. Suppose RLN is found infiltrated by well-differentiated thyroid cancer (WDTC) during surgery, and the RLN is preoperatively paralyzed, we recommend performing resection the involved RLN and ACN-to-RLN anastomosis immediately during surgery. If vocal folds exhibit normal mobility preoperatively, the MACIS scoring system is used to assess patient risk stratification. When the MACIS score > 6.99, resection of the involved RLN and immediate ACN-to-RLN anastomosis were performed. RLN preservation was limited to patients with MACIS scores ≤ 6.99.

PMID:38676783 | DOI:10.1007/s00423-024-03323-x