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An unusual course of the left recurrent laryngeal nerve.

Authors
  • Khaki, Amir A
  • Tubbs, R Shane
  • Shoja, Mohammadali M
  • Zarrintan, Sina
Type
Published Article
Journal
Clinical anatomy (New York, N.Y.)
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2007
Volume
20
Issue
3
Pages
344–346
Identifiers
PMID: 17031863
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Variation in the course of the left recurrent laryngeal nerve is seemingly very rare. During the routine dissection of an adult male cadaver, the entire left recurrent laryngeal nerve after branching from the left vagus nerve was noted to travel medial to the ligamentum arteriosum. We hypothesize that this rare variation may occur, if the left recurrent laryngeal nerve passes inferior to the fifth rather than the sixth aortic arch during embryological development. As our case report demonstrates, the relationship between the ligamentum arteriosum and the left recurrent laryngeal nerve is not absolute. Although seemingly rare, cardiothoracic surgeons must consider variations of the left recurrent laryngeal nerve during surgical procedures in the region of the ligamentum arteriosum in order to minimize potential postoperative complications.

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