Inferior Pharyngeal Constrictor

Written by Max Bidewell

Last updated February 3, 2023 • 5 Revisions

The inferior pharyngeal constrictor is a muscle of the pharynx. It is described as having two components – the thyropharyngeus and cricopharyngeus.

  • Attachments:
    • Thyropharyngeal fibres originate from the thyroid cartilage
    • Cricopharyngeal fibres originate from the cricoid cartilage
    • All fibres insert posteriorly onto the pharyngeal raphe.
  • Action: Constricts the wall of the pharynx during swallowing to propel the food bolus downwards.
  • Innervation: Vagus nerve (CN X)
  • Blood Supply: Pharyngeal branch of ascending thyroid artery and branches of inferior thyroid artery

Fig 1
Lateral view of the deep structures of the pharynx. Visible are the circular muscles of the pharynx, and the stylopharyngeus.

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