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Clinical Problem Solving: Radiology
December 2004

Radiology Quiz Case 2—Diagnosis

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004;130(12):1447-1449. doi:10.1001/archotol.130.12.1447

During the course of the thyroidectomy, multiple attempts were made to find the right recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) in its usual location near the tracheoesophageal groove. On further inspection, we noted that there was an aberrant right subclavian artery. When the cricoarytenoid joint was explored, it became evident that there was an NRLN coming directly from the area of the carotid sheath and entering the larynx (Figure 2). The nerve proved to be intact and was easily stimulated with the nerve stimulator. Postoperatively, the results of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and MR angiography confirmed the characteristic appearance of the aberrant right subclavian artery (Figure 3 and Figure 4).

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