Critical course of the anterior laryngeal branch of the inferior laryngeal nerve

ANZ J Surg. 2006 Jun;76(6):481-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.2006.03759.x.


Background: Although in the past few authors stated that the nerve penetrated the ligament of Berry, many new authors have not confirmed this assertion. Because of the clinical importance and indefiniteness of this subject, we aimed to present an anatomical study concerning the course of the inferior laryngeal nerve.

Method: In 60 specimens, 102 sides were examined for this project, including 41 male and 19 female cadavers between the ages of 40 and 89 years at death.

Results: In two sides (one on the right and the other on the left), we found that the anterior (motor) laryngeal branch of the inferior laryngeal nerve penetrated the ligament unilaterally. The branch entered the ligament 5.6, 7.2 mm above its lower border and 3.3, 1.9 mm below its upper border. Distances from the entrance point of the branch to the trachea and thyroid were 9.5, 8.2 mm and 3.1, 2.2 mm, respectively.

Conclusion: We found two anterior laryngeal branches penetrating the ligament of Berry. This subject is very important during the thyroid surgery, particularly during the division of the ligament for total lobectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cadaver
  • Dissection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Larynx / anatomy & histology
  • Ligaments / anatomy & histology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck / anatomy & histology
  • Pharynx / anatomy & histology
  • Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve / anatomy & histology*
  • Thyroid Gland / anatomy & histology