The Recurrent Laryngeal Cardiac Nerve in Fetuses

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

B. Z. De Gama; L. Lazarus & K. S. Satyapal


The recurrent laryngeal nerve has been reported to supply cardiac branches to the cardiac plexus. A review of anatomical literature on the existing term used to describe these branches revealed that varying interpretations and descriptions exist among various authors. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the origin and incidence of branches from the recurrent laryngeal nerves to the cardiac plexus and their connections with sympathetic cardiac nerves. The sample comprised 40 cadaveric fetuses (n=80) (gestational ages: 16-30 weeks). The recurrent laryngeal cardiac nerve was described as the cardiac branch that originated directly from the recurrent laryngeal nerve and reached the superficial or deep parts of the cardiac plexus. This study found the recurrent laryngeal cardiac nerve in 76% of the cases contributing direct and indirect branches in 75% and 25% of the cases, respectively. This study recorded only two (2%) of these branches contributing to the superficial cardiac plexus while the rest (74%) of these branches contributed to the deep cardiac plexuses. The remaining 24% had no contributions from the recurrent laryngeal nerve to either the superficial or deep part of the cardiac plexus. The most common point of origin for the recurrent laryngeal cardiac nerve was at the lower distal part in 59% of the specimens. In the remaining 41% of branches, this nerve originated from the point of curvature, upper proximal part and both the point of curvature and lower distal part in 26%, 10% and 5% of the specimens.

KEY WORDS: Recurrent laryngeal cardiac nerve; Vagus nerve; Cardiac plexus.

How to cite this article

DE GAMA, B. Z.; LAZARUS, L. & SATYAPAL, K. S. The recurrent laryngeal cardiac nerve in fetuses. Int. J. Morphol., 32(2):415- 419, 2014.