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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


RAMIREZ ARISTEGUIETA, Luis Miguel; BALLESTEROS, Luis Ernesto; FORERO, Pedro Luis  and  CONDE, Carlos. Thoracic Vagal Ganglion and Referred Craniofacial Pain: a Case Report and Review. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2007, vol.25, n.1, pp.33-42. ISSN 0717-9502.

The presence of a ganglion-like tumefaction is reported in the mediastinal course of the right vagus nerve at Tl 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

Keywords : Visceroception; Heterotopic pain; Inferior ganglion of vagus nerve; Paratrigeminal nucleus; Trigeminal subnucleus; caudalis.

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