Internal laryngeal nerve

Last revised by Travis Fahrenhorst-Jones on 20 Jul 2022

The internal laryngeal nerve is one of the two branches of the superior laryngeal nerve and provides sensory innervation of the laryngeal mucosa down to the level of the vocal cords (supraglottic larynx). 

Summary

  • origin: arises as the larger of the two branches of the superior laryngeal nerve at the level of the greater cornu of the hyoid bone
  • course
    • descends anterior to the thyrohyoid membrane piercing it at the level of the vallecula before dividing into 2 branches
  • branches and supply

Related pathology

Compression of the internal laryngeal nerve by an enlarged triticeal cartilage may cause dysphagia, odynophagia and sensation of a foreign body.

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