Information

Are “sympathetic nerves” the same as “cardiopulmonary splanchnic” nerves?

Are “sympathetic nerves” the same as “cardiopulmonary splanchnic” nerves?


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

I've gathered from a number of sources (e.g., Patel (2015), Wikipedia, and here) that the sympathetic nerves leaving the sympathetic trunk to innervate the heart and lungs are called "cardiopulmonary splanchnic nerves".

However, I've noticed that both the 14th and 15th edition of Tortora & Derrickson's A&P textbook seem to suggest that these nerves are simply called "sympathetic nerves," even though they make reference to abdominopelvic and adrenal splanchnic nerves more specifically. See below from Tortora & Derrickson (2013):

… Then, the axons of the postganglionic neurons leave the trunk by forming sympathetic nerves that extend to visceral effectors in the thoracic cavity (Figure 15.4). Sympathetic nerves provide sympathetic innervation to the heart and lungs.

Here are subsets of images from Patel (2015) [LEFT] vs Tortora & Derrickson (2013) [RIGHT] (my emphasis):

My question: Are "Sympathetic nerves" the same as "cardiopulmonary splanchnic" nerves?

  • Are these names interchangeable? I can't find further evidence supporting Tortora and Derrickson's usage of this phrase in such a specific manner to refer to postganglionic neurons leaving the trunk to innervate the heart and lungs. Are they acting rogue? Are they simplifying? Any insight would be appreciated.

Cited works:

Patel, T. R. 2015. "Chapter 36 - Anatomy of the Sympathetic Nervous System." Pages 495-506 in Tubbs, R.S., Rizk, E., Shoja, M.M., Loukas, M., Barbaro, N. and Spinner, R.J. eds. Nerves and Nerve Injuries: Vol 1: History, Embryology, Anatomy, Imaging, and Diagnostics. Academic Press.

Tortora, G. J. and B. Derrickson. 2013. Principles of anatomy and physiology, 14th edition. John Wiley & sons, Inc.


You might consider cross-posting to SE Medical sciences who know more about this stuff.

I think that they are simply using a more general term than other authors. In the same way, most people call crabs crabs, but some people might occasionally refer to them as crustaceans.

Based on wikipedia, it seems that cardiopulmonary splanchnic nerves are a subset of sympathetic nerves. The sympathetic nervous system innervates a large number of organ systems of the body (see image), such that the cardiopulmonary splanchnic nerves are simply the sympathetic nerves that innervate the heart and lungs.

Looking further at the wikipedia for splanchnic nerves, it seems that this is a technical term relating to the fashion in which organs are innervated by the sympathetic nervous system; e.g. in my crude understanding they are organ hookups to the sympathetic nervous system.

In other words, all cardiopulmonary splanchnic nerves are sympathetic nerves, but most sympathetic nerves are not cardiopulmonary splanchnic nerves.


Cardiopulmonary splanchic nerves consist of:

  • sympathetic nerves

  • the vagus nerve (a part of parasymathetic system)


Watch the video: The Sympathetic Nervous System (May 2022).