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Tonsillar Branches of Glossopharyngeal Nerve (Left)
Nervous System

Tonsillar Branches of Glossopharyngeal Nerve (Left)

Rami tonsillares nervi glossopharyngei

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Quick Facts

Origin: Glossopharyngeal nerve.

Course: Run superiorly beneath the mucosal lining of the tonsillar bed, up into the palatine tonsil.

Branches: None.

Supply: General sensory innervation to the palatine tonsils and surrounding mucosal lining.

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Origin

The tonsillar branches of the glossopharyngeal nerve are terminal branches of the glossopharyngeal nerve. They originate medial to the stylohyoid ligament in the space between the superior and middle pharyngeal constrictor muscles. This corresponds to the lower portion of the palatine tonsillar bed, just deep to the mucosal lining.

Course

From their origins, the tonsillar branches of the glossopharyngeal nerve run superiorly, medial to the superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle, but deep to the mucosal membrane that lines the palatine tonsillar bed. After reaching the palatine tonsil, they defasciculate to form a tonsillar plexus.

Branches

There are no named branches, however, the tonsillar branches of the glossopharyngeal nerve defasciculate to form a plexus of nerves called the tonsillar plexus. The tonsillar plexus can anastomose with fibers of the greater and lesser palatine nerves (Standring, 2016).

Supplied Structures

The tonsillar branches of the glossopharyngeal nerve are sensory. They convey general visceral sense fibers from the palatine tonsil, tonsillar bed, and surrounding mucosal membranes.

References

Standring, S. (2016) Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. Elsevier Limited.

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