Citation, DOI & article data
The hypopharynx (rare plural: hypopharynges or hypopharynxes) or laryngopharynx forms the most inferior portion of the pharynx, being the continuation of the oropharynx superiorly and both the larynx and esophagus inferiorly. It also forms part of the upper respiratory tract and the gastrointestinal tract.
The hypopharynx begins as the continuation of the oropharynx at the pharyngoepiglottic fold (which is at the level of the hyoid bone) superiorly, and extends inferiorly to the level of the inferior aspect of the cricoid cartilage, where it continues as the cervical esophagus.
- anteriorly: post-cricoid mucosa, posterior cricoarytenoid muscle
- posteriorly: mucosal wall, middle and inferior constrictor muscles
- superiorly: hyoid bone, glossoepiglottic and pharyngoepiglottic folds
- inferiorly: cricoid cartilage, cricopharyngeus muscle
Three subsites of the hypopharynx are described, being pertinent to localize where squamous cell carcinoma arises:
- 1. Michaels L, Hellquist HB. Ear, Nose and Throat Histopathology. Springer. ISBN:1447111281. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Harnsberger HR, Glastonbury CM, Michel MA et-al. Diagnostic Imaging: Head and Neck. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2010) ISBN:1931884781. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 3. Tao TY, Menias CO, Herman TE et-al. Easier to swallow: pictorial review of structural findings of the pharynx at barium pharyngography. Radiographics. 2013;33 (7): e189-208. doi:10.1148/rg.337125153 - Pubmed citation