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19.3: Larynx

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    The larynx is a cartilaginous structure inferior to the laryngopharynx that connects the pharynx to the trachea and helps regulate the volume of air that enters and leaves the lungs (Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\)). The structure of the larynx is formed by several pieces of cartilage. Three large cartilage pieces—the thyroid cartilage (anterior), epiglottis (superior), and cricoid cartilage (inferior)—form the major structure of the larynx. The thyroid cartilage is the largest piece of cartilage that makes up the larynx. The thyroid cartilage consists of the laryngeal prominence, or “Adam’s apple,” which tends to be more prominent in males. The thick cricoid cartilage forms a ring, with a wide posterior region and a thinner anterior region. Three smaller, paired cartilages—the arytenoids, corniculates, and cuneiforms—attach to the epiglottis and the vocal cords and muscle that help move the vocal cords to produce speech.

    The top panel of this figure shows the anterior view of the larynx, and the bottom panel shows the right lateral view of the larynx.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): The larynx extends from the laryngopharynx and the hyoid bone to the trachea. (CC-BY-4.0, OpenStax, Human Anatomy)


    This page titled 19.3: Larynx is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by OpenStax.

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