Recurrent laryngeal nerve landmarks revisited

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

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    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

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1240-1246
    Number of pages7
    JournalHead and Neck
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


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