Nonrecurrent Laryngeal Nerve and Associated Anatomical Variations: The Art of Prediction

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A nonrecurrent laryngeal nerve (NRLN) is a rare anatomical variation in which the nerve enters the larynx directly off the cervical vagus nerve.

Case Report:

We present 2 patients who underwent thyroid surgery for benign disease. Intraoperatively, type 2a and 1 NRLN were identified. Due to the frequent association with a vascular abnormality, an ultrasound and a computed tomography were performed which showed a right aberrant subclavian artery with a retroesophageal course and a common trunk of the common carotids in both patients.

Discussion and Conclusion:

The presence of an NRLN is a major risk during surgical procedures and the surgeon should be aware of the possibility of its existence. NRLN may be associated with rare vascular anomalies, such as arteria lusoria and a bicarotid trunk. This paper reveals this association in 2 patients for the first time.

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