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Correspondence and Brief Communications
February 2002

Comment on Surgical Anatomy

Arch Surg. 2002;137(2):225. doi:

Surgeons, anatomists, embryologists, and educators would be well advised to replace the term nonrecurrent laryngeal nerve with inferior laryngeal nerve (Arch Surg. 2001;136:949). If the term superior laryngeal nerve is the standard and accepted nomenclature, then logically the corresponding term, inferior laryngeal nerve, should be used. Of course, the upward path of the inferior laryngeal nerve is "recurrent"; the inferior laryngeal nerve curves and promenades upward after its origin from the vagus nerve. The nonrecurrent nerve is a variation of the inferior laryngeal nerve and includes all of its branches when present: tracheal, esophageal, and pharyngeal. In addition to a retroesophageal right subclavian artery, the nonrecurrent nerve may also be associated with an arteria lusoria and/or a right aortic arch.

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