Thoracic vagal ganglion and referred craniofacial pain: A case report and review

Luis Miguel Ramírez Aristeguieta, Luis Ernesto Ballesteros, Pedro Luis Forero, Carlos Conde

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The presence of a ganglion-like tumefaction is reported in the mediastinal course of the right vagus nerve at T1 level in a cadaver in the Universidad Industrial de Santander's morphology laboratory. The vagal ganglion was located next to hyperplasic lymphoid nodes in para-tracheal and tracheal-bronchial levels, agglomerating in a large lymphoid mass in the carina and the pulmonary hilum. Anatomical-pathological study revealed a marked, diffusely distributed, predominantly histo-lymphocyte mixed inflammation, separating the epineurium, producing lysis of the vagus nerve fibers. This finding showed the degeneration of this cranial par by mediastinal pathology. This provided a possible explanation for the physiopathology of pain referring to the head and neck in inflammatory or neoplastic pathology involving compression and degeneration by inflammatory infiltration of the vagus nerve. Pons-medullar trigeminal afferent tracts and connectivity, supra-spinal pathways for processing somatic-visceral pain, possible somatic-vegetative responses and the integration of the trigeminal system in the physiology of pain concerning the vagus nerve are all discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Morphology
Volume25
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Caudalis
  • Heterotopic pain
  • Inferior ganglion of vagus nerve
  • Paratrigeminal nucleus
  • Trigeminal subnucleus
  • Visceroception

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