Nasopharynx

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Nasopharynx
Illu pharynx.jpg
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Front of nasal part of pharynx, as seen with the laryngoscope.
Latin pars nasalis pharyngis
Gray's subject #244 1141
Nerve maxillary nerve
MeSH Nasopharynx
Dorlands/Elsevier p_07/12617279

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Overview

The nasopharynx (nasal part of the pharynx) lies behind the nose and above the level of the soft palate: it differs from the and laryngeal parts of the pharynx in that its cavity always remains patent (open).

In front it communicates through the choanae with the nasal cavities.

On its lateral wall is the pharyngeal ostium of the auditory tube, somewhat triangular in shape, and bounded behind by a firm prominence, the torus or cushion, caused by the medial end of the cartilage of the tube which elevates the mucous membrane.

A vertical fold of mucous membrane, the salpingopharyngeal fold, stretches from the lower part of the torus; it contains the Salpingopharyngeus muscle.

A second and smaller fold, the salpingopalatine fold, stretches from the upper part of the torus to the palate.

Behind the ostium of the auditory tube is a deep recess, the pharyngeal recess (fossa of Rosenmüller).

On the posterior wall is a prominence, best marked in childhood, produced by a mass of lymphoid tissue, which is known as the pharyngeal tonsil.

Above the pharyngeal tonsil, in the middle line, an irregular flask-shaped depression of the mucous membrane sometimes extends up as far as the basilar process of the occipital bone; it is known as the pharyngeal bursa.

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This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.

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