Intraoperative neural monitoring in thyroid surgery: lessons learned from animal studies
Recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) injury remains a significant morbidity associated with thyroid and parathyroid surgery. In the past decade, surgeons have increasingly used intraoperative neural monitoring (IONM) as an adjunct technique for localizing and identifying the RLN, detecting RLN injury, and predicting the outcome of vocal cord function. In recent years, many animal studies have investigated common pitfalls and new applications of IONM. For example, the use of IONM technology in animal models has proven valuable in studies of the electrophysiology of RLN injury. The advent of animal studies has substantially improved understanding of IONM technology. Lessons learned from animal studies have immediate clinical applications in establishing reliable strategies for preventing intraoperative RLN injury. This article gives an overview of the research progress on IONM-relevant animal models.