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Rev Hosp Clin Fac Med Sao Paulo. 2000 Nov-Dec;55(6):195-200.

Relationship between the recurrent laryngeal nerve and the inferior thyroid artery: a study in corpses.

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Laboratory of Surgical Technique, Department of Surgery, Federal University of Minas Gerais.


The anatomical relationship between the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) and the inferior thyroid artery (ITA) was studied in 76 embalmed corpses, 8 females and 68 males. In both sexes, the RLN lay more frequently between branches of the ITA.; it was found in this position in 47.3% of male corpses and 42.8% of female ones. On the right, RLN was found between branches of the ITA in 49.3% of the cases, anterior to it in 38.04%, and posterior in 11.26%. On the left, the RLN lay between branches of the ITA in 44.45%, posterior to the ITA in 37.05%, and anterior to it in 18.05% of the cases. In 62.68% of the cases, the relationship found on one side did not occur again on the opposite side. There was a significant difference (p<0.05) in the distribution of the 3 types of relationships between the RLN and the ITA, on the right and on the left. Racial variations could contribute to an explanation of the differences observed by authors of different countries in the relationship between the RLN and the ITA.

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