A nerve that supplies nerve fibers to the pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), lungs, heart, esophagus, and intestinal tract, as far as the transverse portion of the colon. The vagus nerve also brings sensory information back to the brain from the ear, tongue, pharynx, and larynx. The vagus nerve is the tenth cranial nerve. It originates in the medulla oblongata, a part of the brain stem, and extends all the way down from the brain stem to the colon. Complete interruption of the vagus nerve causes a characteristic syndrome in which the soft palate droops on the side where damage occurred, and the gag reflex is also lost on that side. The voice is hoarse and nasal, and the vocal cord on the affected side is immobile. The result is difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) and speaking (dysphonia). The vagus nerve has several important branches, including the recurrent laryngeal nerve.
Someone with a weak or sickly constitution, especially someone whose chief concern is being or becoming a chronic invalid. The word “valetudinarian” comes from the Latin “valere”, which means to be strong or to be well, via “valetudo” which could refer to good or bad health.
(valga, valgum) Angled outward, bent or twisted outward, as in cubitus valgus, coxa valga, hallux valgus, and genu valgum.
An anatomic term for a crevice, furrow or depression. There are a variety of valleculae including one in the brain, another in the nail matrix, etc. However, used alone, the term “vallecula” usually applies to the epiglottic vallecula, a depression just behind the root of the tongue between the folds in the throat. “Vallecula” is […]
- Valley fever
Lung infection with the fungus Coccidioides immitis. The fungus is common in the sands of the deserts of the southwest, including the San Joaquin valley in California, after which it was named. Also called coccidiomycosis.
1. The Valsalva maneuver in which a person tries to exhale forcibly with a closed glottis (windpipe) so that no air goes out through the mouth or nose. 2. The renowned Italian anatomist, pathologist, physician, and surgeon Antonio Maria Valsalva (1666-1723) who first described the maneuver.