What are the neurologic causes of spinal accessory nerve (SAN) injury?

Updated: Feb 09, 2018
  • Author: Rohan R Walvekar, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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See the list below:

  • Collet-Sicard syndrome: Involves the lower cranial nerves (IX, X, XI, and XII) [19]

  • Vernet syndrome (ie, tumor near jugular foramen): Involves the lower cranial nerves IX, X, and XI [20]

  • Poliomyelitis

  • Motor neuron disease

  • Brachial neuritis

  • Syringomyelia

A study by Kassem et al suggested that idiopathic brachial plexitis can affect the spinal accessory nerve and may be sparked by surgical procedures. [21]


Spontaneous isolated nerve injury has also been reported. [22]

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