Passavant cushion

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 8 May 2019

The Passavant cushion or ridge is a small prominence in the posterior pharynx, formed from a focal bulge of the superior pharyngeal constrictor muscles during swallowing.

The "cushion" opposes the soft palate during the act of swallowing and is part of the seal between soft palate and pharynx that prevents nasopharyngeal reflux.

History and etymology

Gustav Philip Passavant (1815-1893) was a German surgeon who practised in Frankfurt. He described his cushion in papers published in 1863 and 1869 2-4.

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