Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




To identify the course of the hypoglossal nerve at the base of tongue and to determine a safe area for the placement of radiofrequency ablation therapy (RAT) probes to protect the nerve trunk from any damage. Materials and methods: Anatomical structures located at the base of the tongue were investigated in 10 cadaveric human half-heads. On the base of our landmarks, which are clinically important sign points, measurements were made. Results: The safe area was found to be: in the transverse plane, the 1/2 medial part of the half-tongue between the lateral edge and the foramen caecum of the tongue, and in the vertical plane, a 14.5-mm depth. Despite the presence of minor branches of the hypoglossal nerve in this area, we think that the trunk of the nerve would be preserved. Conclusion: We suggest that the landmarks that we determined to avoid motor deficit of the tongue will be helpful for clinicians during RAT to the tongue base.


Hypoglossal nerve, radiofrequency ablation, tongue, snoring, obstructive sleep apnea

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