recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy

Last reviewed 01/2018

Recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy mainly presents with voice changes.

The causes of recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy varies according to the side that is affected. The variation with respect to cause is because of the very different anatomy of the two nerves.

The left recurrent laryngeal nerve has a long course which extends down into the chest and loops under the arch of the aorta to return to the larynx.

The right recurrent laryngeal nerve is shorter and loops around the subclavian artery.

Thus, the left nerve is more susceptible to disease than the right.