Auricular branch of vagus nerve

Auricular Branch Of Vagus Nerve

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Auricular branch of vagus nerve

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Description:
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.

Path

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.

Traversing the substance of the temporal bone, it crosses the facial canal about 4 mm. above the stylomastoid foramen, and here it gives off an ascending branch which joins the facial nerve.

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:

Clinical significance

This nerve may be involved by the glomus jugulare tumour.

Laryngeal cancer can present with ear pain - this is referred pain through the vagus nerve to the nerve of Arnold.

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......
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