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Continuous intraoperative monitoring of autonomic nerves during low anterior rectal resection: an innovative approach for observation of functional nerve integrity in pelvic surgery

: Kauff, D.W.; Kempski, O.; Koch, K.P.; Huppert, S.; Hoffmann, K.P.; Lang, H.; Kneist, W.


Langenbeck's archives of surgery 397 (2012), Nr.5, S.787-792
ISSN: 1435-2443
ISSN: 1435-2451
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

Purpose: The aim of this study was to develop a methodological setup for continuous intraoperative neuromonitoring with intent to improve nerve-sparing pelvic surgery. Methods: Fourteen pigs underwent low anterior rectal resection. Continuous stimulation of pelvic autonomic nerves was carried out with a newly developed tripolar surface electrode during lateral, anterolateral, and anterior mesorectal dissection. Neuromonitoring was performed under electromyography of the autonomic innervated internal anal sphincter. Results: Continuous neuromonitoring resulted in significantly increased electromyographic amplitudes of the internal anal sphincter, confirming intact innervation throughout the whole dissection in each animal (median 0.9 V, interquartile range 0.5; 1.5 vs. median 3.4 V, interquartile range 2.1; 4.7) (p < 0.001). The median dissection time in each animal was 10 min within a median number of ten (range 8-13) tripolar electric stimulations. Conclusion: The pres ent study is the first to demonstrate that continuous intraoperative monitoring of pelvic autonomic nerves during low anterior rectal resection is feasible.