Issue 2, Article 3
||Edelstein, et al.
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Anatomy of Supraglottic Larynx
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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