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The human throat

The pharynx , with the technical term pharynx [ ˈfaːʁʏŋks ] ( Greek - Anat .; Ancient Greek φάρυγξ phárynx , German 'throat' , 'throat (head)'), is initially (generally in animals including humans ) the foremost, on the mouth or mouth. Mouth following section of the digestive tract . In humans and other terrestrial vertebrates , it is an extension lined with mucous membrane following the oral and nasal cavities , and in vertebrates it is also part of the respiratory system (→  gill intestine ).

The human pharynx in particular is more curved than in many other mammals due to the upright posture , which increases the risk of "swallowing" ( aspiration ).


The pharynx is separated from the oral cavity by the base of the tongue and the palatal arch ( arcus palatoglossus ). Access from the nasal cavity is through the choans (nasopharyngeal duct).

The exit from the pharynx leads downwards

The pharynx is divided into the

  • Nasopharynx ( Pars nasal pharynx ), and nasopharynx or nasopharynx
  • Oropharynx ( pars oralis pharyngis ), also oropharynx or mesopharynx
  • Pharynx ( pars laryngea pharyngis ), also laryngopharynx or hypopharynx

The eustachian tube also opens into the nasopharynx with the ostium pharyngeum tubae auditivae . The soft palate ( palatum molle or velum palatinum ) lies between the mouth and the nasopharynx . A subsequent fold of the mucous membrane, the arcus palatopharyngeus , forms the so-called ostium intrapharyngeum ("opening within the pharynx").


Pharyngoscopy: Examination of the pharynx with a wooden tongue depressor

The pharynx wall is formed by a mucous membrane , which is provided with ciliated epithelial cells and goblet cells in the area of ​​the nasopharynx . There are accumulations of lymphoid tissue called tonsils in the lining of the throat . The individual almonds together form the Waldeyer's throat ring .

The muscular layer ( tunica muscularis ) lying on the outside of the mucous membrane consists of skeletal muscles (striated muscles). Functionally, one differentiates:

Blood supply and innervation

The blood supply takes place via branches of the external carotid artery .

The motor innervation of the muscles is carried out by the IX. and the Xth cranial nerve , i.e. the glossopharyngeal nerve and the vagus nerve . In addition to the aforementioned nerves, the pharyngeal mucous membrane is sensitively innervated by the maxillary nerve - a branch of the trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve).



The main diseases of the throat are:

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Rachen  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Franz-Viktor Salomon: muscle tissue. In: Franz-Viktor Salomon, Hans Geyer, Uwe Gille (Ed.): Anatomy for veterinary medicine. 2nd, revised and expanded edition. Enke, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8304-1075-1 , pp. 147-234.
  2. ^ Herbert Lippert : Textbook anatomy. 6th, revised edition. Urban & Fischer, Munich et al. 2004, ISBN 3-437-42361-4 .