Introduction/Aims: Disease or injury can cause neuromuscular changes to the larynx that can affect voice, breathing, and swallowing. Motor nerve conduction studies have had limited use in the study of laryngeal neurophysiology, despite their importance in other anatomic sites. The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility of performing recurrent laryngeal motor nerve conduction studies (rlMNCS) in a rat model. Methods: rlMNCS were performed in 15 rats under anesthesia. A bipolar stimulating electrode was placed on the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) 5 mm below the cricoid cartilage. Via direct laryngoscopy, a recording electrode was placed transorally into the thyroarytenoid muscle. The RLN was maximally stimulated to determine the compound muscle action potential (CMAP). Three consecutive trials were averaged. Results: The mean stimulating threshold to the RLN to achieve a CMAP from the thyroarytenoid was 1.7 ± 0.6 mA. RLN stimulation caused a visible adductor twitch of the vocal fold in all animals. The mean negative amplitude was 2.0 ± 0.8 mV, and the total area was 1.0 ± 0.4 mV ms. The CMAP latency and negative duration were 1.0 ± 0.1 ms and 0.9 ± 0.2 ms, respectively. Discussion: rlMNCS are feasible and may be useful in understanding laryngeal neurophysiology with disease or injury. This work could provide a tractable animal model for studying and monitoring treatment of neuromuscular conditions affecting voice, breathing, and swallowing.
- compound muscle action potentials
- motor nerve conduction studies
- rat model
- recurrent laryngeal nerve