© 2017 Edizioni Minerva Medica. BACKGROUND: Transcutaneous laryngeal ultrasound (TLUS) has emerged as a promising imaging tool for vocal cord examination in patients undergoing thyroid surgery. The focus of this prospective, double-blind study was to assess the accuracy of TLUS in the diagnosis of vocal cord paralysis in the immediate postoperative period following total thyroidectomy. METHODS: The study included 93 patients undergoing total thyroidectomy and assessed by videostrobolaryngoscopy (VSL) and TLUS. VSL was carried out the day before surgery and was repeated at 4 days postoperatively. TLUS was performed before surgery in the preanesthesia holding area and at completion of the procedure in the postanesthesia care unit. The preoperative and postoperative TLUS results were correlated with those of VSL. The statistical analysis included the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value (with 95% CI) of TLUS for detecting vocal cord paralysis. RESULTS: The visualization rate associated with TLUS was 93%. The total vocal cord paralysis rate was 16.1%. The performance of TLUS for diagnosing this condition was as follows: sensitivity, 93.3% (95% CI: 77.3-100%); specificity 96.1% (95% CI: 91.2-100%); positive predictive value, 82.3% (95% CI: 61.2-100%); negative predictive value, 98.6% (95% CI, 95.4-100%). CONCLUSIONS: TLUS may be a suitable technique for detecting vocal cord paralysis shortly after total thyroidectomy.
- Postoperative period
- Vocal cord paralysis