Superior laryngeal nerve

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Nerve: Superior laryngeal nerve
Plan of upper portions of glossopharyngeal, vagus, and accessory nerves. ("Laryngeal" labeled at lower right.)
Course and distribution of the glossopharyngeal, vagus, and accessory nerves. (Branches visible in upper right.)
Latin nervus laryngeus superior
Gray's p.912
Innervates larynx
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The superior laryngeal nerve is a branch of the vagus nerve. It arises from the middle of the ganglion nodosum and in its course receives a branch from the superior cervical ganglion of the sympathetic.

It descends, by the side of the pharynx, behind the internal carotid artery, and divides into two branches:


A superior laryngeal nerve palsy changes the pitch of the voice and causes an inability to make explosive sounds due to paralysis of the cricothyroid muscle. If no recovery is evident three months after the palsy initially presents, the damage is most likely to be permanent. A bilateral palsy presents as a tiring and hoarse voice. It can be injured in surgery involving the removal of the thyroid gland (thyroidectomy)

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This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.