European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 23 - Number 3
Eur J Anat, 23 (3): 167-175 (2019)

Surgical landmarks of the glossopharyngeal nerve

Seth Morrill1, Vikas Mehta2, Jonathan J. Wisco3,4,5, Elizabeth Disbrow6, Mitzi C. Glover7

1Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA, 2Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Louisiana State University Health-Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA, 3Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology, Neuroscience Center, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, 4Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Utah Medical School, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, 5Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, 6Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Neuroscience, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA, 7Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Louisiana State University New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

ABSTRACT Damage to the glossopharyngeal nerve can occur as a result of various Head and Neck surgeries. Associated with this damage are assorted side effects, such as dysphagia, xerostomia, and loss of taste. This study serves to create probabilistic maps of the glossopharyngeal nerve using quantitative data, and to identify different landmarks in order to locate the nerve. Eleven cadaveric heads were bilaterally dissected to expose and measure the glossopharyngeal nerve. The mastoid process is a more reliable marker for the location of the glossopharyngeal nerve as it stretches through the lateral neck. Additionally, distance landmark measurements from the nerve leaving the jugular foramen to it entering the pharyngeal space are offered. Furthermore, statistical probability equations for nerve location have been created. Measurements and models created by this study will aid in pre-operative identification of glossopharyngeal nerve landmarks that will lead to an increase in quality of life in Head and Neck surgery patients.

Keywords: Glossopharyngeal nerve Head and neck surgery CN IX

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)