Source:Tracey A. Milligan, MD; Tamara B. Kaplan, MD; Neurology, Brigham and Women's/Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
The cranial nerve examination follows the mental status evaluation in a neurological exam. However, the examination begins with observations made upon greeting the patient. For example, weakness of the facial muscles (which are innervated by cranial nerve VII) can be readily apparent during the first encounter with the patient. Cranial nerve VII (the facial nerve) also has sensory branches, which innervate the taste buds on the anterior two-thirds of the tongue and the medial aspect of the external auditory canal. Therefore, finding ipsilateral taste dysfunction in a patient with facial weakness confirms the involvement of cranial nerve VII. In addition, knowledge of the neuroanatomy helps the clinician to localize the level of the lesion: unilateral weakness of the lower facial muscles suggests a supranuclear lesion on the opposite side, while lesions involving the nuclear or infranuclear portion of the facial nerve manifest with an ipsilateral paralysis of all the facial muscles on the involved side. Cranial nerve VIII (the acoustic nerve) has two divisions: the hearing (cochlear) division and the vestibular division, which innervates the semi…
Physical Examinations III
Source: Richard Glickman-Simon, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, MA
This video describes the examination of the ear, beginning with a review of its surface and interior anatomy (Figure 1). The cartilaginous auricle consists of the helix, antihelix, earlobe, and tragus. The mastoid process is positioned just behind the earlobe. The slightly curving auditory canal ends at the tympanic membrane, which transmits sound waves collected by the external ear to the air-filled middle ear. The Eustachian tube connects to the middle ear with the nasopharynx. Vibrations of the tympanic membrane transmit to the three connected ossicles of the middle ear (the malleus, incus, and stapes). The vibrations are transformed into electrical signals in the inner ear, and then carried to the brain by the cochlear nerve. Hearing, therefore, comprises a conductive phase that involves the external and middle ear, and a sensorineural phase that involves the inner ear and cochlear nerve.
The auditory canal and the tympanic membrane are examined with the otoscope, a handheld instrument with a light source, a magnifier, and a disposable cone-shaped speculum. It is important to be familiar with the tympanic membrane landmarks (…
Physical Examinations II