The laryngopharynx is located at the back of the laryngeal inlet and posterior surface of the larynx. It interacts inferiorly with the esophagus at the pharyngoesophageal junction which is the slimmest part of the GIT other than appendix and anteriorly along with the laryngeal cavity through laryngeal inlet. It expands through the upper boundary of the epiglottis to the lower boundary of cricoid cartilage anteriorly and lower boundary of C6 vertebra posteriorly.
The laryngeal inlet opens into the anterior wall of the laryngopharynx. Inferior to the laryngeal inlet, the anterior wall includes the posterior element of the larynx. The laryngopharynx extends from the superior margin of the epiglottis to the top of the esophagus at the level of vertebra CVI. In between the central part of the larynx and the more lateral lamina of the thyroid cartilage, there is another set of mucosal recesses (piriform fossae). From the oral cavity around the raised laryngeal inlet and into the esophagus, the piriform fossae create routes that navigate solids and liquids.
Anterior wall: It is created by:
- Laryngeal inlet.
- Posterior surface of the larynx.
- Posterior wall: It is reinforced by bodies of C3, C4, C5, and C6 vertebrae.
- Lateral wall: It is reinforced by thyroid cartilage and thyrohyoid membrane.
The functions seen in the laryngopharynx are:
- Anterior wall provides laryngeal inlet and listed below the inlet it is upheld by cricoid and arytenoid cartilages.
- Lateral wall provides piriform fossa one on each side of laryngeal inlet.
By means of the internal branch of the superior laryngeal artery, the laryngopharynx is supplied by the vagus nerve.
The vascular supply to the laryngopharynx consists of the superior thyroid artery, the lingual artery and the ascending pharyngeal artery.