Gastrointestinal Radiology

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 197–212 | Cite as

Anatomy and physiology of the pharynx

  • Martin W. Donner
  • James F. Bosnia
  • Diane L. Robertson


Radiographic evaluation of the passage of a bolus from the mouth through the pharynx into the esophagus is based upon identification of specific anatomical landmarks and the integrated motion accomplished by the oral and pharyngeal muscles during swallowing. Twenty-six muscles and 6 cranial nerves must be coordinated to enable the safe performance of the complex physiological task of transporting liquids and firm food from the mouth into the esophagus. The following discussion and illustrations of pharyngeal anatomy and physiology are pertinent to an understanding of normal swallowing function.

Key words

Pharynx, anatomy and function 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin W. Donner
    • 1
  • James F. Bosnia
    • 1
  • Diane L. Robertson
    • 1
  1. 1.The Johns Hopkins Swallowing Center and Department of RadiologyThe Johns Hopkins Medical InstitutionsBaltimoreUSA

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