Nervus intermedius

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 13 Oct 2022

The nervus intermedius, also known as intermediate nerve of Wrisberg, is a part of the facial nerve (CN VII) which contains somatic sensory, special sensory, and visceral motor (secretomotor) fibers 1.

The nervus intermedius exits the brainstem at the boundary between the pons and the inferior cerebellar peduncle lateral to the motor root of the facial nerve and medial to the vestibulocochlear nerve (in close proximity to the pontomedullary junction). It travels with the motor root of the facial nerve through the cerebellopontine angle towards the internal acoustic meatus where it enters the anterior superior quadrant to travel through the petrous temporal bone. At the geniculate ganglion (at the first genu) it joins the motor root of the facial nerve 1,2.

Branches of the facial nerve including 1,2:

  • not visible on CT or 1.5 T MRI
  • best appreciated on axial 3 T MRI through the cerebellopontine angle traveling towards the internal acoustic canal 3

First documented by German anatomist Heinrich August Wrisberg (1736-1808) in 1777, although likely first described by Eustachius in 1563 5,6

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1
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  • Figure 2
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