Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Elsevier
Publish with us
External Branch of Superior Laryngeal Nerve
Nervous System

External Branch of Superior Laryngeal Nerve

Ramus externus nervi laryngei superioris

Read more

Quick Facts

Origin: Superior laryngeal nerve.

Course: Runs anteriorly and inferiorly with the superior thyroid artery towards the cricothyroid muscle.

Branches: None.

Supply: Motor innervation to the inferior pharyngeal constrictor and cricothyroid muscles.

Complete Anatomy
The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform
Try it for Free

Origin

The external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve originates near the tip of the greater horn of the hyoid bone, lateral to the pharynx and posterior to the carotid arteries.

Course

From its origin, the external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve runs anteriorly and inferiorly along with the superior thyroid artery. When it reaches the thyroid gland, the external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve continues along the superficial surface of the inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle, deep to the sternohyoid muscle, and into the lateral side of the cricothyroid muscle.

Branches

There are no named branches.

Supplied Structures

The external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve is a motor nerve that innervates two muscles, the inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle and the cricothyroid muscle.

Fibers of the external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve given off at the level of the inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle can potentially communicate with and contribute to the pharyngeal plexus, allowing minor contributions to the innervation of other pharyngeal muscles.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Superior Laryngeal Nerve

ScienceDirect image

The superior laryngeal nerve exits just below the inferior vagal ganglion and bifurcates into a small external laryngeal nerve that supplies the motor innervation to the inferior pharyngeal constrictor and cricothyroid muscles.

Explore on ScienceDirect(opens in new tab/window)

Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

Complete Anatomy