The Oropharynx : The Area Behind The Oral Cavity

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Oropharynx: the oropharynx occupies the area behind the oral cavity, which extends from the uvula to the level of the hyoid bone. Its boundaries are: anteriorly, the mouth through the isthmus faucium, laterally, is the palatine tonsil, between the palatoglossal arch and the palatopharyngeal arch. The anterior wall consists of the base of the tongue and the epiglottic vallecula; the lateral wall is made up of the tonsil, tonsillar fossa, and tonsillar (faucial) pillars; the superior wall consists of the inferior surface of the soft palate and the uvula1’2. Groups of lymphoid tissue in the mucosa of the pharynx surround the entrance of the throat in a ring-like positioning, known as Waldeyer 's Ring. They are three groups: -1- Palatine tonsils, the most protruding groups in the ring and form recognizable masses, (also known as the tonsils), -2- Pharyngeal tonsil (also known as the "adenoids"), and the -3- Lingual tonsils2’3. Histologically, there are three characteristic features distinguish the tonsils from each other: their position, type of the epithelium and the number of crypts3.
Tonsil Position Type of epithelium Crypts
Palatine In the lateral walls of the oral part of the pharynx. Stratified squamous non-keratinising. 10-20 in number.
Pharyngeal In the midline on the roof of the nasopharynx. Ciliated pseudostratified columnar epithelium, as well as some patches of stratified squamous epithelium. Numerous folds of pharyngeal epithelium, not real crypts.
Lingual At
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