Intraoperative Ansa Cervicalis Nerve (ACN) Stimulation (ACS)

  • End date
    Dec 27, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Updated on 27 August 2023


Recently published data suggest that stimulation of the infrahyoid strap muscles increases pharyngeal patency in patients with obstructive sleep apnea, but the innervation of these muscles by the ansa cervicalis is variable. The investigators propose a study examining the anatomic variation of the ansa cervicalis and the effect of neurostimulation on muscle recruitment.


This is a single-arm physiology study. Consenting patients undergoing neck dissection (ND) for cervical lymphadenectomy of level IV will undergo dissection of the ansa cervicalis nerves to the infrahyoid strap muscles. Per routine care, a large incision is made across the neck to provide surgeons access to the cervical lymph nodes for extirpation. During this dissection, the branch(es) of the ansa cervicalis nerve plexus descending from the loop of the plexus and innervating the infrahyoid strap muscles (the "common trunk") are dissected uni- or bilaterally. For this study, measurements and photos/videos of the common trunks will be taken. An electrode will be placed on one or both common trunks to stimulate infrahyoid muscles.

Condition Head and Neck Cancer, Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Treatment Nerve stimulation using nerve stimulation device and sterile wire electrode.
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05650710
SponsorVanderbilt University Medical Center
Last Modified on27 August 2023


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Adult patient (≥18 years old)
Scheduled for uni- or bilateral neck dissection (BND) for cervical lymphadenectomy of level IV and other indicated procedures for management of head and neck cancer

Exclusion Criteria

Unable to consent for research due to a pre-existing neurologic condition as determined by PI
Unable to consent for research due to language barriers
History of prior neck surgery with transection of the infrahyoid strap muscles as determined by clinical history
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