Auricular branch of vagus nerve
|Nerve: Alderman's nerve|
|Latin||ramus auricularis nervi vagi|
The auricular branch of the vagus nerve is often termed the Alderman's nerve or Arnold's nerve. The latter name is an eponym for Friedrich Arnold. It supplies sensory innervation to the skin of the ear canal.
It arises from the jugular ganglion, and is joined soon after its origin by a filament from the petrous ganglion of the glossopharyngeal; it passes behind the internal jugular vein, and enters the mastoid canaliculus on the lateral wall of the jugular fossa.
The nerve reaches the surface by passing through the tympanomastoid fissure between the mastoid process and the tympanic part of the temporal bone, and divides into two branches:
- one joins the posterior auricular nerve.
- the other is distributed to the skin of the back of the auricula and to the posterior part of the external acoustic meatus.
This nerve may be involved by the glomus jugulare tumour.
In a small portion of individuals, the auricular nerve is the afferent limb of the Ear-Cough or Arnold Reflex. Physical stimulation of the external acoustic meatus innervated by the auricular nerve elicits a cough, much like the other cough reflexes associated with the vagus nerve. Rarely, on introduction of speculum in the external ear, patients have experienced syncope due to the stimulation of the auricular branch of the vagus nerve.
- synd/258 at Who Named It?
- Brendan J. Canning, PhD (January 2006). "Anatomy and Neurophysiology of the Cough Reflex". CHEST. Retrieved 2009-03-09.