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Laryngopharynx
Respiratory System

Laryngopharynx

Pars laryngea pharyngis

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Description

The laryngopharynx sits posterior to the larynx and is the inferior continuation of the oropharynx. It begins at the superior margin of the epiglottis and extends to the inferior border of the cricoid cartilage of the larynx. At rest, it lies between the third and sixth cervical vertebrae. Anteriorly, it opens into the laryngeal inlet; however, inferior to the inlet it sits posterior to the arytenoid and cricoid cartilages of the posterior aspect of the larynx. Bilateral piriform fossae sit lateral the laryngeal inlet and are spaces where food can become lodged if deglutition is disrupted. Inferiorly, it is continuous with esophagus where it forms the upper esophageal sphincter.

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Hypopharynx

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Hypopharynx is defined as is the region between the oropharynx at the level of the hyoid bone and the esophagus at the lower end of the cricoid cartilage.

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