Surgically Important Relationships of Recurrent and Nonrecurrent Laryngeal Nerves to the Coexisting Variant Vessels


The retroesophageal right subclavian artery may be associated with multiple neurovascular variations, which may impact various cervicothoracic surgeries. During the dissection of 27 cadavers, the authors detected a retroesophageal right subclavian artery in old man arising from distal aortic arch, crossed ventrally by left recurrent laryngeal nerve and dorsally by thoracic duct. On the right side, the aberrant subclavian artery was associated with nonrecurrent laryngeal nerve crossing a large tortuous inferior thyroid artery at multiple intersection points. Importantly, the nonrecurrent laryngeal nerve gave rise to extra laryngeal branch passing over Zuckerkandl’s tubercle of thyroid gland before its termination into the larynx. The relationships of the aberrant subclavian artery in the present case to thoracic duct, recurrent and nonrecurrent laryngeal nerves may have clinical relevance to various operations such as thyroidectomy, esophagectomy and surgical correction of the aberrant vessel. Therefore, these relationships should be well known by surgeons for prevention of iatrogenic damage of essential neurovascular structures during various surgeries.

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Eid, N. , Ito, Y. and Otsuki, Y. (2015) Surgically Important Relationships of Recurrent and Nonrecurrent Laryngeal Nerves to the Coexisting Variant Vessels. Forensic Medicine and Anatomy Research, 3, 16-19. doi: 10.4236/fmar.2015.31003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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