The glossopharyngeal, vagus and spinal accessory nerves

Eur J Radiol. 2010 May;74(2):359-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2009.05.064. Epub 2010 Mar 15.


The glossopharyngeal, vagus and spinal accessory nerves are closely related anatomically, and to a certain extent, functionally. We present an overview of their anatomy, highlighting the important clinical and imaging implications. The main pathologic lesions arising from these nerves are also discussed and the imaging features reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accessory Nerve / diagnostic imaging
  • Accessory Nerve / pathology
  • Accessory Nerve Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Glossopharyngeal Nerve / diagnostic imaging
  • Glossopharyngeal Nerve / pathology
  • Glossopharyngeal Nerve Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Radiography
  • Vagus Nerve / diagnostic imaging
  • Vagus Nerve / pathology
  • Vagus Nerve Diseases / diagnosis*