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May 1955

Hypopharyngeal Bar

Author Affiliations

Newark, N. J.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1955;61(5):542-548. doi:10.1001/archotol.1955.00720020559004

There is no definite anatomical borderline between hypopharynx and cervical esophagus. In 1949 Testut and Latarjet1 claimed that it was generally agreed upon to place the borderline at a horizontal plane which touches the inferior margin of the cricoid cartilage and crosses the body of the sixth cervical vertebra. This borderline is arbitrary and, in addition, is not accepted by all anatomists and clinicians.

Since the classical description of Luschka2 the inferior constrictor muscle of the pharynx is divided into (1) an oblique portion which makes its insertion mainly on the thyroid cartilage, and (2) a transverse portion which is attached to the cricoid cartilage (M. cricopharyngeus). Killian3 claims that the cricopharyngeal muscle consists of both oblique and transverse fibers (Fig. 1).

Of importance are two areas in the posterior wall of the hypopharynx and the cervical esophagus, respectively, because in these areas the wall is