Tympanic nerve

The tympanic nerve (nerve of Jacobson) is a branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve found near the ear.

Tympanic nerve
Plan of upper portions of glossopharyngeal, vagus, and accessory nerves. (Tympanic nerve visible in upper right)
Tympanic nerve (labelled right side)
Totympanic plexus
Latinnervus tympanicus
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy


It arises from the inferior ganglion of the glossopharyngeal nerve, and ascends to the tympanic cavity through a small canal, the inferior tympanic canaliculus, on the under surface of the petrous portion of the temporal bone on the ridge which separates the carotid canal from the jugular fossa.

In the tympanic cavity it divides into branches which form the tympanic plexus and are contained in grooves upon the surface of the promontory.

The tympanic nerve contains both sensory and parasympathetic axons:

Clinical significance

This nerve may be involved by paraganglioma, in this location referred to as glomus jugulare or glomus tympanicum tumours.

Additional images


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 910 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

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