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Laboratory Reference for Clinical Neurophysiology$
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Jay A. Liveson and Dong M. Ma

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780195129243

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195129243.001.0001

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Cervical Plexus

Cervical Plexus

(p.37) Chapter 3 Cervical Plexus
Laboratory Reference for Clinical Neurophysiology

Jay A. Liveson

Dong M. Ma

Oxford University Press

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

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