Superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle

Superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle
Muscles of the pharynx and cheek.
Muscles of the pharynx, viewed from behind, together with the associated vessels and nerves.
Latin musculus constrictor pharyngis superior
Gray's subject #244 1143
Origin medial pterygoid plate, pterygomandibular raphé, alveolar process
Insertion    pharyngeal raphe, pharyngeal tubercle
Artery Ascending pharyngeal artery and tonsillar branch of facial artery
Nerve Pharyngeal plexus of vagus nerve
Actions Swallowing

The superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle is a quadrilateral muscle, thinner and paler than the inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle and middle pharyngeal constrictor muscle.


Origin and insertion

The four parts of this muscle arise from:
- the lower third of the posterior margin of the medial pterygoid plate and its hamulus (Pterygopharyngeal part)
- from the pterygomandibular raphe (Buccopharyngeal part)
- from the alveolar process of the mandible above the posterior end of the mylohyoid line (Myolopharyngeal part)
- and by a few fibers from the side of the tongue (Glossopharyngeal part)

The fibers curve backward to be inserted into the median raphe, being also prolonged by means of an aponeurosis to the pharyngeal spine on the basilar part of the occipital bone.

The superior fibers arch beneath the levator veli palatini muscle and the Eustachian tube.


The interval between the upper border of the muscle and the base of the skull is closed by the pharyngeal aponeurosis, and is known as the sinus of Morgagni.


As soon as the bolus of food is received in the pharynx, the elevator muscles relax, the pharynx descends, and the constrictors contract upon the bolus, and convey it downward into the esophagus.


The superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle is innervated by the pharyngeal branch of the vagus nerve via the pharyngeal plexus.

Additional images

External links

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained within it may be outdated.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle — n SUPERIOR CONSTRICTOR …   Medical dictionary

  • Inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle — Muscles of the pharynx and cheek. (Constrictor pharyngis inferior visible at bottom left.) …   Wikipedia

  • Middle pharyngeal constrictor muscle — Muscles of the pharynx and cheek. (Constrictor pharyngis medius labeled at center left.) …   Wikipedia

  • Pharyngeal constrictor — Muscles of the pharynx and cheek …   Wikipedia

  • superior constrictor — n a 4 sided muscle of the pharynx that arises from the posterior and medial parts of the pterygoid plate, from the pterygomandibular raphe, from the alveolar process above the end of the mylohyoid line, and from the side of the tongue, that… …   Medical dictionary

  • Pharyngeal — The word pharyngeal, meaning to do with the pharynx or throat, may refer to: * Pharynx, for pharyngeal anatomy * Pharyngeal muscles **Superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle ** Middle pharyngeal constrictor muscle ** Inferior pharyngeal… …   Wikipedia

  • Pharyngeal raphe — Infobox Anatomy Name = PAGENAME Latin = raphe pharyngis GraySubject = GrayPage = Caption = Muscles of the pharynx, viewed from behind, together with the associated vessels and nerves. (Pharyngeal raphe not labeled, but region is visible.)… …   Wikipedia

  • Pharyngeal tubercle — Infobox Bone Name = Pharyngeal tubercle Latin = tuberculum pharyngeum GraySubject = 31 GrayPage = 132 Caption = Occipital bone. Outer surface. (Pharyngeal tubercle not labeled but visible at bottom, at center of box, labeled as attachment point… …   Wikipedia

  • Muscle — is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. There are three types of muscle in the body. Muscle which is responsible for moving extremities and external areas of the body is called "skeletal muscle." Heart… …   Medical dictionary

  • constrictor — 1. Anything that binds or squeezes a part. SEE ALSO: inferior c. (muscle) of pharynx, middle c. (muscle) of pharynx, superior pharyngeal c. (muscle). 2. A muscle, the action of which is to narrow a …   Medical dictionary

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