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Pharyngeal mucosa

Learning objectives

After going through this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Locate the pharynx.
  2. Name the three divisions of the pharynx.
  3. Identify and describe the main landmarks of the pharyngeal mucosa.

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The pharynx, commonly known as the throat, is a muscular tube extending from the nasal and oral cavities until the larynx and the esophagus. Basically, it is a place of passage for air, food, and liquids. Based on its anterior relations, the pharynx is divided into three mains sections: the nasopharynx, posterior to the nasal cavity; the oropharynx, posterior to the oral cavity; and the laryngopharynx posterior to the larynx. The pharyngeal wall is formed essentially by muscles and fascia and is covered internally by mucosa. The pharyngeal mucosa shows different landmarks that will be reviewed in this study unit.

Take a look at the video below to start exploring this topic!

Take a quiz

Solidify your knowledge of the pharyngeal mucosa by taking the quiz below!

Challenge yourself even further with our custom quiz about all the structures of the pharynx!

Browse atlas

Now that you know where the pharynx is and how it is divided, explore our atlas gallery below where you will find each individual structure of the pharyngeal mucosa highlighted.


Key points about the features of the pharyngeal mucosa
Nasopharynx Pharyngeal tonsil
Pharyngeal opening of auditory tube
Torus tubarius
Pharyngeal recess
Salpingopharyngeal fold
Torus levatorius
Oropharynx Soft palate
Palatoglossal folds or arches (enclosing oropharyngeal isthmus)
Palatopharyngeal folds or arches
Root of tongue (with the lingual tonsil)
Valleculae and glossoepiglottic folds
Palatine tonsils
Laryngopharynx Piriform fossae (with fold of superior laryngeal nerve)
Laryngeal inlet
Aryepiglottic fold
Cuneiform tubercle
Corniculate tubercle
Interarytenoid notch

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