Salpingopharyngeus is a longitudinal muscle that contributes to the muscular wall of the pharynx. Together with the stylopharyngeus and palatopharyngeus, it belongs to the inner longitudinal group of pharyngeal muscles.
This muscle aids speech and swallowing by shortening and widening the pharynx. It also helps in equalizing the pressure between the middle ear and external environment by opening the auditory (Eustachian) tube.
This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the salpingopharyngeus muscle.
|Origin||Inferior/cartilaginous part of auditory (Eustachian) tube|
|Insertion||Blends with palatopharyngeus muscle|
|Action||Elevates pharynx, opens auditory tube during swallowing|
|Innervation||Branches of pharyngeal plexus (CN X)|
|Blood supply||Ascending palatine branch of facial artery, greater palatine branch of maxillary artery, pharyngeal branch of ascending pharyngeal artery.|
Origin and insertion
Salpingopharyngeus muscle originates from the cartilaginous part of the auditory tube, more specifically from its inferior part that bounds the tube’s nasopharyngeal opening. It courses inferiorly and inserts by fusing with the palatopharyngeus muscle in the oropharynx.
The muscle is located posteriorly to torus tubarius, coursing through the vertical fold of the nasopharyngeal mucous membrane called the salpingopharyngeal fold.
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The salpingopharyngeus muscle is innervated by branches of pharyngeal plexus that carry the fibers from the vagus nerve (CN X).
Salpingopharyngeus muscle elevates the pharynx by shortening and widening its lumen, which facilitates speaking and swallowing. It also assists the tensor veli palatini muscle to open the auditory tube during swallowing, which is a method used by some people to deliberately equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the environment.