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Embryology of the Branchial Arches

  • Mark Wilson
  • Margaret Coyle
Chapter

Abstract

The pharyngeal or branchial arches are six curved cylindrical mesodermal thickenings on each side of the primitive pharynx. Each arch forms a swelling on the outer surface of the embryo and a swelling on the wall of the primitive pharynx internally. They are produced by the proliferation of the mesoderm of the lateral wall of the pharynx forming six arched thickenings. Each arch consists of an outer ectodermal covering, an inner endodermal lining and a mesodermal core between the two. The arches are separated from each other externally by five grooves called the pharyngeal clefts and are separated from each other internally by four grooves, the pharyngeal pouches. Each ectodermal cleft is separated from the corresponding endodermal pouch by a thin layer of mesoderm.

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Suggested Reading

  1. Swanson VC, Gries H, Koh J. Chapter 181: Anatomy and developmental embryology of the neck. In: Haughey BH, Niparko J, Thomas Robbins K, Lesperance MM, Flint PW, Regan TJ, Lund VJ, editors. Cummings otolaryngology—head & neck surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. ISBN: 978-0-323-08563-2.Google Scholar
  2. Wetmore RF, Potsic WP. Chapter 198: Differential diagnosis of neck masses. In: Haughey BH, Niparko J, Thomas Robbins K, Lesperance MM, Flint PW, Regan TJ, Lund VJ, editors. Cummings otolaryngology—head & neck surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. ISBN: 978-0-323-08563-2.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Wilson
    • 1
  • Margaret Coyle
    • 2
  1. 1.Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeonUniversity Hospital LimerickLimerickIreland
  2. 2.Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeonGloucester Royal HospitalGloucesterUK

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