Vagus Nerve

Cranial nerve X is composed of multiple combinations of small and large rootlets, which are intimately associated with the rootlets of CN IX and XI. These rootlets enter the vagal meatus separated from the glossopharyngeal meatus by a dural septum. During its course in the jugular foramen, CN X gives the auricular branch (Arnold's nerve), which ascends toward the mastoid segment of the facial nerve. Along its course, the auricular branch of CN X has many swellings formed by ganglion cells, which can give rise to glomus tumors. Cranial nerve X exits the jugular foramen vertically with intimate relation to CN XI. Cranial nerves X and XI exit the jugular foramen posterior to CN IX on the pos-teromedial wall of the internal jugular vein. The main trunk of CN X descends posterior to the ICA within the carotid sheath.2

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