Tutorials and quizzes on the structure and function of the larynx using interactive animations and diagrams. Get a complete anatomy crash course.
The larynx is a guarded air passageway between the pharynx and the trachea. It is formed by 9 supportive cartilages, intrinsic and extrinsic muscles and a mucous membrane lining. It is a short 1.5 inch tube that is located in the throat, inferior to the hyoid bone and tongue and anterior to the esophagus.
The intrinsic muscles move the arytenoid cartilages and adjust the tension applied to the vocal folds and ligaments. The intrinsic muscles originate and insert on the larynx.
The vocal folds and the space between the folds are referred to as the glottis. Laryngeal muscles adjust the size of the glottic opening. A broader opening allow for air to enter and leave the trachea. The muscles reduce the size of the opening to create voice sounds.
There are two pairs of soft tissue folds projecting into the lumen of the larynx. The inferior folds are the vocal folds and the superior folds are the vestibular folds.
An interactive demonstration of the Larynx featuring the iconic GBS illustrations. The cartilages, ligaments, membranes and muscles are labeled in various anatomical views.
The larynx includes several muscles, cartilages and ligaments. All help to provide support or regulate vocal ligaments.
The epiglottis projects obliquely from the top of the larynx. Muscles move the epiglottis to cover the larynx during swallowing to allow for the passage of food. As food clears the passageway, the muscles relax to reopen the respiratory passageway.
The largest laryngeal cartilage is the thyroid cartilage. Inferior to the thyroid cartilage is the ring-shaped cricoid cartilage. Along with the epiglottis, they represent the large cartilages of the larynx.