Ansa cervicalis

The ansa cervicalis (or ansa hypoglossi, an archaic synonym) is a component of the cervical plexus which gives muscular branches to the geniohyoid muscle of the suprahyoid group and most of the infrahyoid (strap) muscles (excluding the thyrohyoid muscle). 

  • superior root: derived from the anterior primary rami of C1
  • inferior root: derived from the anterior primary rami of C2 and C3

Note: the thyrohyoid muscle is innervated by the ventral ramus of C1 via the hypoglossal nerve rather than via the ansa cervicalis.

Ansa cervicalis is Latin for handle of the neck. It comes from the loop shape of the structure, which resembles a handle.

Anatomy: Head and neck
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Article information

rID: 30602
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Tag: cases, refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Ansa hypoglossi

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: ansa cervicalis
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  • Figure 2: cervical plexus labeled
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