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Ascending Pharyngeal Artery
Cardiovascular System

Ascending Pharyngeal Artery

Arteria pharyngea ascendens

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The ascending pharyngeal artery is the smallest branch arising from the external carotid artery.


The ascending pharyngeal artery ascends from the medial surface of the external carotid artery, between the internal carotid artery and the pharynx, to the base of the cranium. The artery is crossed by the styloglossus and stylopharyngeus muscles.


The ascending pharyngeal artery gives rise to several pharyngeal branches and the Neuromeningeal trunk (Hacein-Bey et al, 2002). Additionally, it gives of several unnamed branches to the muscles and viscera of the neck.

Supplied Structures

The ascending pharyngeal artery supplies the pharynx, soft palate, the ear, and meninges. Additionally, as it ascends in the neck, it supplies branches to the longus capitis and longus colli muscles, the sympathetic trunk, the hypoglossal, glossopharyngeal, and vagus nerves, and some cervical lymph nodes.


Hacein-Bey, L., Daniels, D. L., Ulmer, J. L., Mark, L. P., Smith, M. M., Strottmann, J. M., Brown, D., Meyer, G. A. & Wackym, P. A. (2002) The Ascending Pharyngeal Artery: Branches, Anastomoses, and Clinical Significance. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 23(7), 1246.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Ascending Pharyngeal Artery

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It is a pedicled myomucosal flap supplied by branches of the ascending pharyngeal artery.

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