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Ansa cervicalis

Nerve: Ansa cervicalis
Ansa cervicalis. Superior root labeled as "descending hypoglossal", Inferior root labeled as "descending cervical".
Gray's subject #210 928
Innervates sternohyoid muscle, sternothyroid muscle, omohyoid muscle
Dorlands/Elsevier a_44/12138601

The ansa cervicalis (or ansa hypoglossi in older literature) is a loop of nerves that are part of the cervical plexus.

Branches from the ansa cervicalis innervate all but one of the infrahyoid muscles, including the sternohyoid muscle, the sternothyroid muscle, and the omohyoid muscle. The thyrohyoid muscle is innervated by C1 only.



Two roots make up the ansa cervicalis.

  • The superior root (descendens hypoglossi) of the ansa cervicalis is formed by a branch of spinal nerve C1. These nerve fibers travel in the hypoglossal nerve before leaving to form the superior root. The superior root goes around the occipital artery and then descends in the carotid sheath. It sends off branches to the superior belly of the omohyoid muscle, and the upper parts of the sternothyroid and sternohyoid muscles and is then joined by the inferior root.
  • The inferior root (descendens cervicalis) is formed by fibers from spinal nerves C2 and C3. The inferior root gives off branches to the inferior belly of the omohyoid muscle, and the lower parts of the sternothyroid and sternohyoid muscles.

See also

  • ansa

Additional Images


  • "Ansa cervicalis." Stedman's Medical Dictionary, 27th ed. (2000). ISBN 0-683-40007-X
  • Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. (2005). ISBN 0-443-07168-3
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ansa_cervicalis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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