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Surg Radiol Anat. 2016 Oct;38(8):917-22. doi: 10.1007/s00276-016-1658-1. Epub 2016 Mar 8.

Topographical and functional anatomy of trapezius muscle innervation by spinal accessory nerve and C2 to C4 nerves of cervical plexus.

Author information

1
Laboratoire d'Anatomie, Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne, France. marie.gavid@chu-st-etienne.fr.
2
Service d'Oto-Rhino-Laryngologie, CHU Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne, France. marie.gavid@chu-st-etienne.fr.
3
Laboratoire d'Anatomie, Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne, France.
4
Service d'Oto-Rhino-Laryngologie, CHU Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne, France.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the existence and the frequency of communicating branches between the spinal accessory nerve (SAN) and the C2, C3 and C4 roots of the cervical plexus. The present study also aimed to elucidate whether these branches contain motor fibers or not. Dissection of the cervical region was performed on twelve adult cadavers. A powered operating microscope was necessary to dissect the SAN and its branches and also to dissect C2, C3 and C4 nerve branches. In a second step, data from 13 patients who underwent 25 modified neck dissections under trapezius muscle's monitoring were collected. At the end of surgery, intraoperative stimulation on the SAN, C2, C3 and C4 nerve branches was performed. Registered potentials in the three parts of the trapezius muscle, using the NIM Medtronic system, were analyzed. During cadaver dissection, 18 (78 %) communicating branches were identified between the SAN and C2, 11 (48 %) between the SAN and C3, 12 (52 %) between the SAN and C4. Intraoperative stimulation of the SAN and its branch for the trapezius muscle provided a significant electroneurographic response in the three parts of the trapezius muscle in all subjects. Intraoperative stimulation of C3 led to recordable contractions of the trapezius muscle in 5 (20 %) modified neck surgeries, stimulation of C4 led to recordable contractions during 5 (20 %) modified neck dissections. One case of contraction was recorded after intraoperative stimulation of C2 (7 %). Although we were able to identify at least one communicating branch between the SAN and the roots of the cervical plexus in each cadaver dissection, the cervical plexus is not always involved in trapezius motor innervation. Intraoperative electroneurography demonstrated that a motor input from the cervical plexus to the trapezius muscle was provided in only 32 % of cases. Therefore, SAN trunk and C3-C4 roots should be carefully preserved during modified neck dissection to protect trapezius and shoulder functions.

KEYWORDS:

C2 root; C3 root; C4 root; Communicating branches; Electroneurography; Spinal accessory nerve; Trapezius muscle innervation

PMID:
26957148
DOI:
10.1007/s00276-016-1658-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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