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Pharynx anatomy


  • It is present in the upper part of the digestive system. It extends from the base of the skull to c6 vertebra.
  • Anteriorly it is open and communicates with nasal cavity, oral cavity and larynx.
  • The part communicating with nasal cavity is called as nasopharynx communicating with oral cavity is called as oropharynx,  communicating with larynx is called laryngopharynx.
  • Pharynx is the common passage for both air and food.
  • In the laryngopharynx they get separated.
  • Air will enter the larynx and food will enter the oesophagus.
  • Within the wall of pharynx, four layers are present from inside outward they are mucosa, sub mucosa, muscular layer and adventitia.
  • In the muscular layer, there are e pairs of circular muscles ie superior constrictor, middle constrictor and inferior constrictor. 3 pairs of longitudinal muscles ie stylopharyngeus, palate pharyngeus and salpingo pharyngeous.
  • In the lateral walls of naso pharynx there are opening for the auditory tubes, which will communicate the pharynx with the middle layer cavity.
  • In the roof of nasopharynx a collection of lumphatic vessels is present known as nasopharyngeal tonsil.

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