3D reconstruction and heat map of porcine recurrent laryngeal nerve anatomy: branching and spatial location

Nena Lundgreen Mason, Marc Christiansen, Jonathan J. Wisco


Recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy is a common post-operative complication of many head and neck surgeries. Theoretically, the best treatment to restore partial function to a damaged recurrent laryngeal nerve would be reinnervation of the posterior cricoarytenoid muscle via anastomosis of the recurrent laryngeal and phrenic nerves. The pig is an excellent model of human laryngeal anatomy and physiology but a more thorough knowledge of porcine laryngeal anatomy is necessary before the pig can be used to improve existing surgical strategies, and develop new ones. This study first identifies the three most common recurrent laryngeal nerve branching patterns in the pig. Secondly, this study presents three-dimensional renderings of the porcine larynx onto which the recurrent laryngeal nerve patterns are accurately mapped. Lastly, heat maps are presented to display the spatial variability of recurrent laryngeal nerve trunks and primary branches on each side of 15 subjects (28 specimens). We intend for this study to be useful to groups using a porcine model to study posterior cricoarytenoid muscle reinnervation techniques.



Porcine larynx; recurrent laryngeal nerve; larynx model

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/IJAE-17815

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY- 4.0)

Firenze University Press
Via Cittadella, 7 - 50144 Firenze
Tel. (0039) 055 2757700 Fax (0039) 055 2757712
E-mail: info@fupress.com