The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

Online Only Clinical Record

Case of coexisting, ipsilateral nonrecurrent and recurrent inferior laryngeal nerves

Y S Yanga1 c1, S K Noa2, S C Choia1 and K H Honga1

a1 Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Medical School, Chonbuk National University, South Korea

a2 Department of Plastic Surgery, Medical School, Chonbuk National University, South Korea

Abstract

Objective: We report an extremely rare case of coexisting, ipsilateral nonrecurrent inferior laryngeal nerve and recurrent inferior laryngeal nerve.

Method: We present a case report and a review of the world literature concerning ipsilateral nonrecurrent inferior laryngeal nerve and recurrent inferior laryngeal nerve.

Results: The presence of a coexisting, ipsilateral nonrecurrent inferior laryngeal nerve and recurrent inferior laryngeal nerve is a very rare embryological aberration which is associated with a right subclavian artery originating from the aortic arch. We report a case of coexisting, ipsilateral nonrecurrent and recurrent inferior laryngeal nerves associated with this vascular anomaly.

Conclusion: The surgeon must be aware of the possibility of coexisting, ipsilateral nonrecurrent inferior laryngeal nerve and recurrent inferior laryngeal nerve, and thus must trace the nerve in its entirety. Occasionally, what appears to be a nonrecurrent inferior laryngeal nerve will actually be a communicating branch between the recurrent inferior laryngeal nerve and the oesophageal or sympathetic ganglia. If such a neurological variant is present, the consequences of careless dissection could include not only vocal fold paralysis but also dysphagia (if the pharyngeal and oesophageal branches of nonrecurrent or recurrent inferior laryngeal nerve are injured).

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Yun Su Yang, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Medical School, Chonbuk National University, Chonju, Chonbuk 560-182, Republic of Korea. Fax: 82 63 250 1986 E-mail: yang2002@chonbuk.ac.kr

Footnotes

Dr Yun Su Yang takes responsibility for the integrity of the content of the paper.

Competing interests: None declared

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