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Ansa cervicalis

Ansa cervicalis
Ansa cervicalis. Superior root labeled as "descending hypoglossal", Inferior root labeled as "descending cervical".
Latin Ansa cervicalis, ansa hypoglossi
Innervates sternohyoid muscle, sternothyroid muscle, omohyoid muscle
Gray's p.928
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Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The ansa cervicalis (or ansa hypoglossi in older literature) is a loop of nerves that are part of the cervical plexus. It lies superficial to the internal jugular vein in the carotid triangle. Its name means "handle of the neck" in Latin.

Branches from the ansa cervicalis innervate most of the infrahyoid muscles, including the sternothyroid muscle, sternohyoid muscle, and the omohyoid muscle. Note that the thyrohyoid muscle, which is also an infrahyoid muscle, is innervated by cervical spinal nerve 1 via the hypoglossal nerve. In addition, the ansa cervicalis does not innervate the stylohyoid muscle, which is innervated by the facial nerve.


Two roots make up the ansa cervicalis.

File:Ansa cervicalis.jpg
Ansa cervicalis

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