Anatomy of the larynx

The larynx is a complex anatomical and physiological complex consisting of various tissue structures, with a developed network of blood vessels, lymph vesselsĀ and nerves. The inner surface of the larynx is covered by a thin mucosa consisting of a multilayer cylindrical ciliated epithelium. In places of mechanical stress (epiglottis, free edges of vocal folds, etc.), the larynx is covered with multilayered flat epithelium. On the side of the lingual surface of the epiglottis, at the level of aryepiglottic folds, pear-shaped sinuses and ventricles under the mucous membrane there is a connective tissue that can swell with various inflammatory and allergic diseases of the larynx, especially intensively in children. The mucosa of the larynx contains a variety of glands, located everywhere, except for the free edges of the vocal folds, as well as many lymphatic bodies, especially in the ventricles of the larynx, where this lymphadenoid tissue forms the so-called laryngeal tonsils.

All cartilages of the larynx, except for the epiglottis, are hyaline. The epiglottis consists of an elastic cartilage. All muscles of the larynx are striated, they can contract either arbitrarily or reflexively.

Above the larynx is attached median and lateral thyrohyoid ligaments (a: 12, 13) to the hyoid bone (14), which serves as a support for all the external muscles of the larynx. At the bottom of the larynx is supported by the arch of cricoid (a: 8) on the first ring of the trachea.


Larynx: cartilage, ligaments and joints:

  1. Larynx ligaments and joints (front view):
    1. Superior cornu of thyroid cartilage
    2. Superior thyroid tubercle
    3. Inferior thyroid tubercle
    4. Inferior cornu of thyroid cartilage
    5. Lateral cricothyroid ligament
    6. Cricotracheal ligament
    7. Tracheal cartilages
    8. Anterior arch of cricoid
    9. Median cricothyroid ligament
    10. Thyroid notch
    11. Thyrohyoid membrane
    12. Median thyrohyoid ligament
    13. Lateral thyrohyoid ligament
    14. Hyoid bone
  2. Muscles and larynx ligaments (right view):
    1. Epiglottis
    2. Cricothyroid muscle (Anterior part)
    3. Cricothyroid muscle (Posterior part)
    4. Thyroid cartilage

The skeleton of the larynx consists of five major cartilages closely adhered to each other, of which three are unpaired (cricoid, thyroid and epiglottis) and two pairs (arytenoid cartilage).

Above the larynx passes into the larynx, down to the trachea, in front in the lower regions it borders on the thyroid gland, at the back - with the esophagus, on the sides - with the vascular-neural bundle and the lateral lobes of the thyroid gland. Elasticity and elasticity of the larynx are provided by its cartilaginous, ligamentous and muscular apparatus, as well as interchondral joints, thanks to which the cartilages of the larynx retain mobility relative to each other, which is necessary for the appropriate "adjustment" of the tonality and timbre of the voice.