The Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve and the Tubercle of Zuckerkandl
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The tubercle of Zuckerkandl is the posterior and lateral projection of the thyroid gland. It was originally described by anatomists, and later became of interest to thyroid and parathyroid surgeons because of its close proximity to the recurrent laryngeal nerve and the superior parathyroid gland. It is more frequently found on the right side of the body, and when found bilaterally it is often larger on the right. It has been postulated that an enlarged tubercle of Zuckerkandl can cause symptoms of compression even in the absence of a large goiter, but it is clinically significant because of its use as a landmark for finding the recurrent laryngeal nerve and the superior parathyroid gland during surgery.
KeywordsZuckerkandl Tubercle Recurrent laryngeal nerve Superior parathyroid gland
Shows a surgeon’s view of the tubercle of Zuckerkandl being elevated to expose the recurrent laryngeal nerve and superior parathyroid gland (MP4 46088 kb)
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