Vol. 2, Issue 2, Article 3 Neurographics logo Edelstein, et al.

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Anatomy of Supraglottic Larynx

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Figure 1
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Figure 2
The upper margin of the supraglottic larynx extends along the free edge of the epiglottis and aryepiglottic folds down to the arytenoid cartilages. The external or outer contour of the supraglottic larynx from cranially to caudally is the hyoid bone, the thyrohyoid membrane, and the thyroid cartilage. The intra-laryngeal caudal margin of the supraglottic larynx is defined by a horizontal plane that extends through the mid-point of each laryngeal ventricle. Thus, the upper mucosal surface of the ventricle is in the supraglottic larynx, while the lower surface is in the glottic larynx. In the axial plane, between the mucosa covering the supraglottic larynx and the external contour of the larynx described above, is a somewhat "horseshoe-shaped" space filled with fat, lymphatic capillaries, and a rich vascular capillary network. This space is indented posteriorly on each side by the anterior shtmlect of each pyriform sinus recess of the hypopharynx (Fig.1). Anatomically, the space is divided by fascia into a midline pre-epiglottic space and a paraglottic space on each side. The hyoepiglottic ligament, which extends from the dorsal hyoid body to the ventral surface of the epiglottis, is often considered the roof of the supraglottic larynx in the anterior midline, ventral to the epiglottis (Fig.2). As the supraglottic larynx and the pharynx are both embryologically derived from the fourth branchial arch, their lymphatic drainage is similar, with the primary drainage nodes being in levels II and III (1, 2).

 



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