Last updated on March 2020

Performance of Ultrasound in the Early Diagnosis of Vocal Cords Paralysis


Brief description of study

Thyroid and parathyroid surgery concerns around 50 000 patients a year in France. One of its main complications is paralysis of vocal cords, and the consequences can be serious.

In this study, the main gold is to evaluate diagnostic performances of ultrasound for an early diagnosis (as soon as awakening of the patient) of vocal cords paralysis in the post-operative period in order to prevent at best complications.

Detailed Study Description

Thyroid and parathyroid surgery concerns around 50 000 patients a year in France. One of its main complications is paralysis of vocal cords. Indeed, the anatomy of the thyroid and its close location with the recurrent laryngeal nerve (responsible for the vocal cord movement) involves a possible lesion or inflammation of the nerve during the surgical procedure. This complication is common, affecting around 10% of thyroid or parathyroid patients following surgery. This complication can be reversible, with a speech therapy or a specific endoscopic treatment by an otolaryngologist.

Currently, a postoperative screening is performed by nasofibroscopy in the recovery room to directly visualize vocal cord mobility. This examination may be painful or badly tolerated by some patients.

Recent studies have highlighted the performance of ultrasound in this diagnosis. The protocol for these studies included an ultrasound distant of the intervention, while it is known that vocal cord paralysis may have earlier consequences.

In this study, the investigators would like to evaluate diagnostic performances of vocal cords ultrasound for an early diagnosis (as soon as awakening of the patient) of vocal cords paralysis in the post-operative period in order to prevent at best complications.

The main limitation of vocal cord ultrasound is mainly related to surgery. Surgery creates anatomical rearrangements, so the secondary objective of this study will be to test whether the preoperative visualization is predictive of a good postoperative visualization.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03727217

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Recruitment Status: Open


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