Superior laryngeal nerve anatomy
Last updated: 03/06/2015
SLN: a branch of the vagus nerve (CN X), innervates key areas of the airway.
Internal branch: Originates lateral to cornu of hyoid bone, pierces thyrohyoid membrane, travels under mucosa in pyriform recess Sensory innervation: base of tongue, epiglottis, aryepiglottic folds, arytenoids
External Branch: Motor innervation: cricothyroid muscle (tensor muscle)
Blocking SLN: Topical application in oral cavity often provides adequate analgesia: grasp tongue with gauze pad or tongue blade, use right angle forceps to place cotton swabs soaked in lidocaine in the pyriform sinuses
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