Book in Focus
Peculiarities of the Autonomic Nervous System"/>
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05th June 2023

Book in Focus
Peculiarities of the Autonomic Nervous System

By Viktor MatejĨík, Zora Haviarová and Roman Kuruc


This book was written with the aim of making it easier for students and physicians to understand the complexity of the peripheral nervous system, including the autonomic system, in relation to diagnosis and treatment. It can be an illustrative addition to an undergraduate education for students and postgraduate education for physicians. Although the pictures look complicated at first glance, they are detailed enough to help a neurologist, a neurosurgeon, or a physician of other specialisations to revive the memory of the anatomical variability of the autonomic nervous system. This book will prove useful in the study of anatomy. We mention the literature in the text only where necessary. The monograph is not large in scope, but it is beneficial for understanding the full range of variations of the autonomic nervous system.

It is based on the specific professional experience of the author and is a supplement to previous monographs on the variability of the peripheral nervous system. The structure of the autonomic nervous system, due to its unpredictability, can sometimes be perceived as very complex, sometimes as unsolvable. It is not possible to write solutions in the form of some mathematical expression or formula. We have to reconcile with a serious fact: sometimes we know the laws that govern the observed system, laws are also very simple; nevertheless, it is impossible to determine what the next development of the system will be. Even behind the seemingly complex beauty of nature, it is necessary to look for the repetition of simple rules. It turns out that natural creations, including body structure, in many cases resemble a fractal approach.

The book includes five main chapters, along with the introduction, conclusion, lists of abbreviations, figure legends, and references, and is equipped with more than 190 figures and schemes.

The first chapter is a general part. The standard anatomical description, course, and deviations of ANS formation are contained in the second and third chapters of this book.

The second chapter deals mainly with the construction and structure of the peripheral autonomic nervous system and its variations, providing details on: 

  • vertebral part of the autonomic nervous system, describing
    • differences in the construction of the cervical section of the sympathetic trunk (right side)
    • differences in the construction of the cervical section of the sympathetic trunk (left side)
    • differences in the construction of stellate ganglia
    • differences in the construction of the thoracic section of the sympathetic trunk (from right)
    • differences in the structure of the thoracic section of the sympathetic trunk (from left)
    • differences in the structure of the lumbar section of the sympathetic trunk (from right)
    • differences in the structure of the lumbar section of the sympathetic trunk (from left)
    • differences in the construction of the sacral section of the sympathetic trunk.

and then focusing on

  • anastomoses of the sympathetic trunk with spinal nerves, with details about
    • anastomoses of the sympathetic trunk with spinal nerves in the cervical region 
    • anastomoses of the sympathetic trunk with spinal nerves in the thoracic region
    • construction details of rami communicantes in the thoracic region 
    • anastomoses of the sympathetic trunk with spinal nerves in the lumbar region
    • construction details of communicating branches (rr. communicantes) in the lumbar region 
    • anastomoses of the sympathetic trunk with spinal nerves in the sacral region 
    • construction details of communicating branches (rr. communicantes) in the sacral region

The third chapter describes the peculiarities of the prevertebral segment of the autonomic nervous system through detailed descriptions of  

  • anastomoses of vagus nerve and sympathetic trunk in the neck
  • details of anastomoses of vagus nerve and sympathetic nerves in the neck
  • details of the construction of visceral branches of the nerves of the sympathetic trunk
  • nerves of the thyroid gland
  • participation of vagus nerve in lung innervation
  • anastomoses between vagus nerve and nerves of the sympathetic trunk in the lung region
  • sources of upper cardiac branch formation
  • sources of autonomic innervation of the heart
  • variations in the structure of the coeliac plexus
  • formation of the coeliac plexus
  • forming level of splanchnic nerves;
  • participation of the vagus nerve in innervation of the stomach
  • innervation of the liver, its vessels and bile ducts

anastomoses of nerves of the stomach with nerves of neighbouring organs 

  • anastomoses of the phrenic nerve with the nerves of the abdominal organs
  • differences in the structure of the splenic plexus
  • details of the structure of the splenic plexus and its participation in the innervation of other organs of the abdominal cavity.
  • differences in the structure of the superior mesenteric plexus
  • differences in the nerve supply of the vermiform appendix
  • differences in the structure of the inferior mesenteric plexus
  • innervation of the distal section of the colon

differences in the structure of the renal plexus 

  • differences in the structure of the aortic plexus
  • innervation of lesser pelvic organs in men
  • innervation of lesser pelvis organs in women
  • differences in the structure of the spermatic plexus

The fourth chapter deals with the influence of autonomic nervous system variations on the clinical picture by providing some thoughts on the importance of data in extreme types of the autonomic nervous system. And the fifth chapter mentions some physiological notes.

The unique feature of our book is the descriptions of various nervous connections and variabilities of the autonomic nervous system in almost all regions of the human body. We believe that this book will substantially deepen our understanding of the structure and functions of the vegetative nervous system in many regions of the human body. Knowledge of this is important and interesting to many medical specialists such as neurologists, neurosurgeons, spinal surgeons, thoracic and abdominal surgeons, anatomists/clinical anatomists, and medical students, but it should also be interesting for specialists in biomedicine, biology, natural sciences or others.


Viktor MatejĨík, MD, PhD, is a Professor at the Department of Neurosurgery of the Faculty of Medicine at Comenius University and University Hospital, Slovakia. His research interests include neurosurgery, craniocerebral injuries, and peripheral nerves, and he is the author and co-author of nearly 230 publications.

Zora Haviarová, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Anatomy of the Faculty of Medicine at Comenius University, Slovakia. Her research interests include the structure of the varicose vein wall and clinical anatomy, and she is the author and co-author of more than 120 publications.

Roman Kuruc, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Lecturer and Head of the Department at the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine at Comenius University, Slovakia. His research interests include forensic medicine, craniocerebral injuries, and virtopsy, and he is the author and co-author of nearly 200 publications.


Peculiarities of the Autonomic Nervous System is available now in hardback at a 25% discount. Enter code PROMO25 to redeem.

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