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To the Editor:—
In The Journal, September 4, you published a communication from Dr. John F. Quinlan criticizing the following statement which appeared in your editorial (July 17) on total thyroidectomy for congestive heart failure: "Injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve was recorded in 8.2 per cent of the cases. In no instance was it bilateral or permanent." Contrary to his criticism, this simple and concrete statement of fact contains no "gross anatomic ambiguity" nor is there, "by implication, a definite falsehood." Moreover, the BNA does recognize the recurrent laryngeal nerve and gives it the simple Latin designation "nervus recurrens."Furthermore, his assertion that "there is only one recurrent nerve in the body" is erroneous. There are two recurrent laryngeal nerves and also two recurrent mandibular and recurrent maxillary nerves, to say nothing of the many other recurrent meningeal nerves.According to Dr. Quinlan, there is no right recurrent laryngeal
Young MW. THE RECURRENT (INFERIOR) LARYNGEAL NERVES. JAMA. 1937;109(16):1295. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780420055023