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Recurrent laryngeal nerve landmarks revisited

Recurrent laryngeal nerve landmarks revisited

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  • Elham Asgharpour
  • Eva Maranillo
  • Jose Sanudo
  • Aran Pascual-Font
  • Marc Rodriguez-Niedenfuehr
  • Francisco J. Valderrama
  • Fermin Viejo
  • Ian G. Parkin
  • Teresa Vazquez

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalHead and Neck - Journal for the Sciences and Specialties of the Head and Neck
Journal publication dateSep 2012


Background The aim of this work was to evaluate, to prove their reliability, the different surgical landmarks previously proposed as a mean to locate the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN). Methods The necks of 143 (68 male and 76 female) human adult embalmed cadavers were examined. RLN origin and length and its relationship to different landmarks were recorded and results compared with those previously reported. Statistical comparisons were performed using the chi-square test (significance, p = .05). Results Mostly, RLN is located anterior to the tracheoesophageal sulcus (41.6%), posterior to the inferior thyroid artery (35.8%), lateral to Berry's ligament (88.1%), below the inferior rim of the inferior constrictor muscle (90.4%), and entering the larynx before its terminal division (54.6%). Conclusions The position of the RLN in relation to those structures classically considered as landmarks is highly variable. The most reliable relationships are those with Berry's ligament or the inferior constrictor muscle. (C) 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012

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