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Is intraoperative neuromonitoring associated with better functional outcome in patients undergoing open TME?

Results of a case-control study
: Kneist, W.; Kauff, D.W.; Juhre, V.; Hoffmann, K.P.; Lang, H.


European journal of surgical oncology : EJSO 39 (2013), Nr.9, S.994-999
ISSN: 0748-7983
ISSN: 1532-2157
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

Aims: Intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) aims to control nerve-sparing total mesorectal excision (TME) for rectal cancer in order to improve patients' functional outcome. This study was designed to compare the urogenital and anorectal functional outcome of TME with and without IONM of innervation to the bladder and the internal anal sphincter.
Methods: A consecutive series of 150 patients with primary rectal cancer were analysed. Fifteen match pairs with open TME and combined urogenital and anorectal functional assessment at follow up were established identical regarding gender, tumour site, tumour stage, neoadjuvant radiotherapy and type of surgery. Urogenital and anorectal function was evaluated prospectively on the basis of self-administered standardized questionnaires, measurement of residual urine volume and longterm-catheterization rate.
Results: Newly developed urinary dysfunction after surgery was reported by 1 of 15 patients in the IONM group and by 6 of 15 in the control group (p = 0.031). Postoperative residual urine volume was significantly higher in the control group. At follow up impaired anorectal function was present in 1 of 15 patients undergoing TME with IONM and in 6 of 15 without IONM (p = 0.031). The IONM group showed a trend towards a lower rate of sexual dysfunction after surgery.
Conclusions: In this study TME with IONM was associated with significant lower rates of urinary and anorectal dysfunction. Prospective randomized trials are mandatory to evaluate the definite role of IONM in rectal cancer surgery.