The recurrent laryngeal nerve and the inferior thyroid artery—anatomical variations during surgery
- 481 Downloads
Background and aims
Recognition of variations of the inferior laryngeal nerve is essential. We aimed to investigate the relationship of the inferior laryngeal nerve with the inferior thyroid artery.
Materials and methods
A study was undertaken between August 2005 and August 2006. A total of 253 adult patients undergoing thyroid surgery were included in this prospective, non-randomized study. Both sides of the thyroid gland were considered separately.
Sixteen variations of the nerve were clarified. In the most observed variation, the nerve was deep to the artery. Two and three nervous branches were seen in 22.5% and 1.6% of the patients, respectively. Bifurcation of the nerve was mostly observed on the left side. No non-recurrent laryngeal nerve was found.
To avoid the risk of nerve damage during thyroid surgery, a good knowledge of the variations of the inferior laryngeal nerve is essential. This is important to achieve an undisturbed quality of life for the thyroid patient.
KeywordsInferior laryngeal nerve Inferior thyroid artery Thyroid surgery Variations
- 11.Berlin DD (1935) The recurrent laryngeal nerves in total ablation of the normal thyroid gland; an anatomical and surgical study. Surg Gynecol Obstet 60:19–26Google Scholar
- 12.Armstrong WG, Hinton JW (1951) Multiple divisions of the recurrent laryngeal nerve; an anatomic study. Arch Surg 62:532–599Google Scholar
- 23.Steurer M, Passler C, Denk DM, Schneider B, Niederle B, Bigenzahn W (2002) Advantages of recurrent laryngeal nerve identification in thyroidectomy and parathyroidectomy and the importance of preoperative and postoperative laryngoscopic examination in more than 1000 nerves at risk. Laryngoscope 112:124–133PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 34.Hollinshead WH (1982) Anatomy for surgeons: the head and neck. vol 1 3rd (ed) Philadelphia, Harper & Row, p 455–458Google Scholar