Nasopharynx

Dr Henry Knipe et al.

The nasopharynx forms part of the pharynx, being the continuation of the nasal cavity superiorly, and the oropharynx inferiorly. 

Boundaries
  • anteriorly: posterior nares and posterior margin of nasal septum 1,2
  • inferiorly: soft palate 2
  • superiorly: basi-sphenoid and basi-occiput 1,2
  • posteriorly: C1 and C2 1
  • laterally
    • the pharyngeal opening of the Eustachian tube is located in the centre of the lateral wall 1,2
    • lymphoid tissue aggregates, also known as the tubal tonsil occur around the opening of the Eustachian tube 1,3
    • the Fossa of Rossenmüller lies between the posterior margin of the Eustachian tube and the posterior wall of the nasopharynx 1,2

Lymphatic drainage in the nasopharynx occurs laterally and medially:

  • lateral drainage pathway: lymph vessels traverse the superior constrictor muscle and drain into the lateral retropharyngeal, deep cervical and posterior triangle lymph nodes 4
  • medial drainage pathway: lymph vessels from the roof and posterior wall drain into the median retropharyngeal lymph nodes 4

Head and neck anatomy
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Article Information

rID: 45307
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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