Citation, DOI and article data
Arnold's nerve is the eponymous name of the auricular branch, also known as the mastoid branch, of the vagus nerve (CN X).
Origin and course
Arnold's nerve originates from the superior ganglion of the vagus nerve and also has a small contribution from the inferior ganglion of the glossopharyngeal nerve. It ascends through the mastoid canaliculus (located lateral to the jugular fossa) in the mastoid portion of the temporal bone.
Arnold's nerve innervates the small parts of the external acoustic meatus and is the source of glomus jugulotympanicum paraganglioma from the non-chromaffin paraganglion cells, which are found along the nerve.
It is also responsible for the referred otalgia through the vagus nerve (CN X), in the case of laryngeal pathology.
History and etymology
Named after Philipp Friedrich Arnold, German anatomist (1803-1890) 1,3. Also known as the alderman's nerve on the belief that stimulating the external auditory canal will stimulate gastric emptying; the aldermen who ate too much for lunch would wiggle their fingers in the external canal to relieve their epigastric discomfort.
- 1. Hildebrand R. Biographical Note: Friedrich Arnold (1803-1890). Wurzbg Medizinhist Mitt. 1988;6:323-6. - Pubmed
- 2. Janecka IP, D. JBNJRM, Galla RJ et-al. Surgical Anatomy of the Head and Neck. Harvard University Press. (2011) ISBN:0674058038. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 3. Lekakis G. Philipp Friedrich Arnold, Ludvig Levin Jacobson and Their Contribution to Head and Neck Anatomy. J Laryngol Otol. 2003;117(1):28-31. doi:10.1258/002221503321046603 - Pubmed