Morphologic Characteristics of Palatopharyngeal Muscle

Shinpei OkudaShinichi AbeHee-Jin KimHiroko AgematsuSatoshi MitarashiYuichi Tamatsu and Yoshinobu Ide

DYSPHAGIA, Volume 23, Number 3 (2008), 258-266, DOI: 10.1007/s00455-007-9133-0


In an effort to clarify the morphologic characteristics of the palatopharyngeal muscle, we examined its origin, insertion, and positional relationship with other muscles. We found that the origin of the palatopharyngeal muscle was both the oral and the nasal side of the soft palate; it was also attached to both the palatal aponeurosis and the soft palate median. However, in some cases the muscle originated on the nasal side was lacked. When the palatopharyngeal muscle originated from both the oral and the nasal side, it traveled through its insertion via the levator muscle of the palatine velum. This insertion was seen in a wide area and could be divided into three parts: the pharynx anterior, central, and posterior walls. In the central pharyngeal wall, insertion into the pharyngeal aponeurosis, inferior constrictor pharyngeal muscle, and esophagus were observed. The present results suggest that the palatopharyngeal muscle has a close positional relationship with the levator and tensor muscles of the palatine velum, the pharyngeal constrictor muscles, and the esophagus.


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