The external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve (EBSLN) is surgically relevant since its close anatomical proximity to the superior thyroid vessels. There is heterogeneity in the EBSLN anatomy and EBSLN damage produces changes in voice that are very heterogenous and difficult to diagnose. The reported prevalence of EBSLN injury widely ranges. EBSLN iatrogenic injury is considered the most commonly underestimated complication in endocrine surgery because vocal assessment underestimates such event and laryngoscopic postsurgical evaluation does not show standardized findings. In order to decrease the risk for EBSLN injury, multiple surgical approaches have been described so far. IONM provides multiple advantages in the EBSLN surgical approach. In this review, we discuss the current state of the art of the monitored approach to the EBSLN. In particular, we summarize, providing our additional remarks, the most relevant aspects of the standardized technique brilliantly described by the INMSG (International Neuromonitoring Study Group). In conclusion, in our opinion, there is currently the need for more prospective randomized trials investigating the electrophysiological and pathological aspects of the EBSLN for a better understanding of the role of IONM in the EBSLN surgery.
Mangano, A., Lianos, G. D., Boni, L., Kim, H. Y., Roukos, D. H., & Dionigi, G. (2014). Intraoperative neuromonitoring of the external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve during thyroidectomy: The need for evidence-based data and perioperative technical/technological standardization. Scientific World Journal, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/692365