We report on an additional innervation to the sternothyroid that, to our knowledge, has not been previously described. During a cadaveric neck dissection, we found an aberrant nerve to the sternothyroid in addition to the normal innervation. The classical innervation to the sternothyroid is through the ansa cervicalis (C1-C3), and the sternothyroid muscle is important for depression of the thyroid cartilage that is involved with swallowing and speech. The cervical plexus is difficult and time consuming to elucidate in fixed cadavers, which limits knowledge of variations from this source. Branches of the plexus are delicate and can be damaged during operations on the neck. Awareness of variations in innervation during operation reduces the chance of damage to nerves and prevents functional changes postoperatively.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Anatomy of the ansa cervicalis: nerve fiber analysis.Anat Sci Int. 2008; 83: 61-67
- A note on the anastomoses between the hypoglossal nerve and the cervical plexus.Surg Radiol Anat. 1986; 8: 75-79
- Anatomical variations in the ansa cervicalis and innervation of infrahyoid muscles.Int J Anat Res. 2013; 1: 69-74
- Clinical significance of an unusual variation: anomalous additional belly of the sternothyroid muscle.Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2016; 16: e491
- An accessory belly of the sternothyroid muscle on the anterior neck.Surg Radiol Anat. 2015; 37: 215-217
- Sternocleidomastoid innervation from an aberrant nerve arising from the hypoglossal nerve: a prospective study of 160 neck dissections.Surg Radiol Anat. 2017; 39: 205-209
- Descendens vagohypoglossi: rare variant of the superior root of ansa cervicalis.Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2017; 55: 834-835
- Some unusual types of formation of the ansa cervicalis in humans and proposal of a new morphological classification.Clin Anat. 2013; 26: 961-965
- The function of the extrinsic laryngeal muscles at different pitch: an electromyographic and roentgenologic investigation.Acta Otolaryngol. 1960; 51: 89-93
- Respiratory roles of genioglossus, sternothyroid, and sternohyoid muscles during sleep.Exp Neurol. 1985; 90: 118-128
Published online: January 31, 2020
© 2020 The British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.