vagus nerve palsy

Last reviewed 01/2018

Motor paralysis due to dysfunction of the tenth cranial nerve has the following clinical features:

  • loss of reflex contraction of the palate seen in the gag reflex
  • hoarseness of voice - this may occur in a unilateral recurrent laryngeal nerve lesion
  • a bovine cough may occur with a bilateral recurrent nerve lesion

The intactness of cranial nerves IX and X are usually tested with an overlapping set of tests, thus:

  • palatal movement - the gag reflex
  • quality of speech:
    • nasal
    • guttural
  • the ability to cough