Video clip of recurrent laryngeal nerve stimulation.
In this video clip, the stimulating probe is applied to the recurrent laryngeal nerve as it enters the larynx. The muscle twitches of the intrinsic laryngeal nerves cause the extrinsic cricothyroid muscles and the cricoid cartilage to move. These movements are visible to the naked eye. The leads of the endotracheal tube capture the electrical activity of the intrinsic laryngeal muscles which is amplified and recorded on the video monitor. Note that the cricothyroid muscles which are visible in a thyroidectomy are not supplied by the recurrent laryngeal nerve, but derive their innervation from the superior laryngeal nerves.
For more information on recurrent laryngeal nerve stimulation and monitoring in thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy, click here: Recurrent Laryngeal Monitoring