Citation, DOI & article data
The uvula is a small, conical, pendulous process projected inferiorly from the midline posterior margin of the soft palate. It is primarily formed from the insertions of the two muscles of the uvula and their covering mucosa.
- location: posterior midline soft palate
- blood supply: from ascending palatine and pharyngeal arteries
- innervation: sensory from the accessory nerve
The uvula is supplied by branches of the arteries that supply the soft palate:
- ascending palatine artery
- palatine branch of the ascending pharyngeal artery
- greater palatine branch of the internal maxillary artery
- motor: muscle of the uvula: accessory nerve (XI) via the pharyngeal plexus
- sensory: sphenopalatine ganglion via middle/external palatine nerves
The function of the uvula is to contribute to palatopharyngeal closure as part of deglutition 4.
An elongated uvula is a rare finding that may present with symptoms such as chronic cough and obstructive sleep apnea. Recurrent upper airway obstruction by the elongated uvula can also mimic asthma in children. Uvulectomy is the mainstay of treatment and is curative.
History and etymology
Uvula is Latin for 'little grape', and is the diminutive form of the Latin word 'uva' meaning grape 3.
- 1. Rajiv Paliwal, Satish Patel, Purvesh Patel et-al. Elongated uvula and diagnostic utility of spirometry in upper airway obstruction. (2010) Lung India. 27 (1): 30. doi:10.4103/0970-2113.59266 - Pubmed
- 2. Sridhara Narayanan D, Narendrakumar V. An Unusual case of an elongated uvula causing difficulty during mastication. (2019) J. Pharm. Sci. & Res. 11(2), 566-567.
- 3. Robert K. Barnhart, Sol Steinmetz. Chambers Dictionary of Etymology. (1999) ISBN: 9780550142306
- 4. Chummy S. Sinnatamby. Last's Anatomy. (2020) ISBN: 9780702033957
- 5. GEORGE S. RICHARDSON, E. MARKEY PULLEN. THE UVULA: Its Structure and Function and Its Importance. (1948) Archives of Otolaryngology. 47 (4): 379. doi:10.1001/archotol.1948.00690030401001