Chapter

Cervical Plexus

Jay A. Liveson and Dong M. Ma

in Laboratory Reference for Clinical Neurophysiology

Published in print May 1999 | ISBN: 9780195129243
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847792 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195129243.003.0003
Cervical Plexus

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The greater auricular nerve is composed of fibers from C2 and C3. It is the largest ascending branch of the cervical plexus. It originates from the base of the neck, passes deep to the sternocleidomastoid, then winds around its posterior border. It then ascends over this muscle, its most superficial course being at its midpoint. Its function is purely sensory, supplying the skin over the posterior lower auricle and the mastoid. The phrenic nerve is a branch of the cervical plexus arising from the anterior primary rami of C3, C4, and C5 (especially C4) with occasional contributions from C2 or C6. It is primarily a motor nerve, supplying the diaphragm (along with branches from lower thoracic nerves), but it does supply some sensory fibers to the pericardium and peritoneum.

Keywords: greater auricular nerve; cervical plexus; phrenic nerve; motor nerve; sensory fibers; pericardium; peritoneum; diaphragm; rami

Chapter.  1136 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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