Journal Browser Advanced Search Help
Journal Browser Advanced search HELP
Int J Thyroidol. 2018 Nov;11(2):130-136. Korean. Original Article.
Kwak MK , Lee SJ , Song CM , Ji YB , Tae K .
Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Background and Objectives

Intraoperative neural monitoring (IONM) of recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) in thyroid surgery has been employed worldwide to identify and preserve the nerve as an adjunct to visual identification. The aims of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of IONM and difficulties in the learning curve.

Materials and Methods

We studied 63 patients who underwent thyroidectomy with IONM during last 2 years. The standard IONM procedure was performed using NIM 3.0 or C2 Nerve Monitoring System. Patients were divided into two chronological groups based on the success rate of IONM (33 cases in the early period and 30 cases in the late period), and the outcomes were compared between the two groups.


Of 63 patients, 32 underwent total thyroidectomy and 31 thyroid lobectomy. Failure of IONM occurred in 9 cases: 8 cases in the early period and 1 case in the late period. Loss of signal occurred in 8 nerves of 82 nerves at risk. The positive predictive value increased from 16.7% in the early period to 50% in the late period. The mean amplitude of the late period was higher than that of the early period (p < 0.001).


IONM in thyroid surgery is effective to preserve the RLN and to predict postoperative nerve function. However, failure of IONM and high false positive rate can occur in the learning curve, and the learning curve was about 30 cases based on the results of this study.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.