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Cranial Nerves

Throat Examination

February 15th, 2021


  • How to Elicit

  • Ask the patient to open their mouth and say 'ahh'. Move the tongue using a tongue depressor, and use a light to visualise the oral cavity.

Uvular Displacement

  • Look For

  • Displacement of the uvula to either side, and whether displacement is associated with obvious swelling or mass.
  • Causes of Uvular Displacement

  • Neurological  - isolated contralateral vagus nerve (X) lesion, bulbar palsy, pseudobulbar palsy
  • Mechanical - peritonsilar abscess

Asymmetric Soft Palate Rise

  • Look For

  • Asymmetric rise of the soft palate when the patient says 'ahh'.
  • Causes of Asymmetric Palate Rise

  • Neurological - isolated ipsilateral vagus nerve (X) lesion, bulbar palsy, pseudobulbar palsy
  • Mechanical - unilateral pressure from above, e.g. mass
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