Asian J Surg. 2002 Jul;25(3):226-31. 

The cricothyroid space: a guide for successful thyroidectomy.


Younes NA, Badran DH.

Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan.


OBJECTIVE: The frequent complications of thyroid surgery are mostly related to the anatomy of the region. This stimulated us to look for a starting point that makes exploration of the region easier and consequently reduces complications. We aimed to explore and define the anatomy of the cricothyroid [CT] region from cadaveric dissection and to present the outcome of 73 consecutive thyroidectomies starting from a space in the CT region.

METHODS: Dissection in the thyroid gland region and creating a space in the CT region was performed on five cadavers [10 spaces], followed by 73 consecutive thyroidectomies through a standard approach beginning from the CT space.

RESULTS: In all cadavers, a space was easily created in the CT region. Vessels, nerves and the parathyroid glands were identified. Standard thyroidectomy starting from the CT space was performed on 73 patients. The external laryngeal nerve was seen in 40% of the cases. The recurrent laryngeal nerve was identified and preserved in all patients. Six patients had temporary hypocalcaemia and eight had a temporary voice change. None of the patients had permanent hypoparathyroidism or recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy.

CONCLUSION: The CT space is an avascular space medial to the thyroid lobe and is a good starting point for thyroidectomy that allows easy and safe exploration of the region.


Publication Types:    Clinical Trial
PMID: 12376220 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]