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Salpingopharyngeus muscle

Recommended video: Muscles of the pharynx [13:28]
Overview of the muscles of the pharynx and related structures.
Salpingopharyngeus muscle (musculus salpingopharyngeus)

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.

Key facts about 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.
  1. Origin and insertion
  2. Relations
  3. Innervation
  4. Blood supply
  5. Function
  6. Sources
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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

Levator veli palatini muscle courses posteriorly to the salpingopharyngeus origin. At the posterolateral border of soft palate, the muscle fuses inferiorly with the fibers of palatopharyngeus. 

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The salpingopharyngeus muscle is innervated by branches of pharyngeal plexus that carry the fibers from the vagus nerve (CN X).

Blood supply

The muscle is supplied from the ascending palatine branch of facial artery, greater palatine branch of maxillary artery and the pharyngeal branch of ascending pharyngeal artery.


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 theauditory tube during swallowing, which is a method used by some people to deliberately equalize the pressure between the middle ear and the environment.

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