Superior laryngeal nerve anatomy

Anatomy

SLN : a branch of the vagus nerve (CN X), innervates key areas of the airway.

Internal branch: Originates lateral to cornu of hyoid bone, pierces thyrohyoid membrane, travels under mucosa in pyriform recess Sensory innervation: base of tongue, epiglottis, aryepiglottic folds, arytenoids

External Branch: Motor innervation: cricothyroid muscle (tensor muscle)

Blocking SLN: Topical application in oral cavity often provides adequate analgesia: grasp tongue with gauze pad or tongue blade, use right angle forceps to place cotton swabs soaked in lidocaine in the pyriform sinuses

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2010

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