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Encyclopedia > Epiglottis
Epiglottis
Laryngoscopic view of interior of larynx
Gray's subject #236 1095
Precursor 4th and 6th branchial arch[1]

The epiglottis is a lid-like flap of fibrocartilage tissue covered with a mucus membrane, attached to the root of the tongue. It projects obliquely upwards behind the tongue and the hyoid bone. Image File history File links Gray1204. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... In the development of vertebrate animals, the branchial arches (or pharyngeal arches) develop during the fourth and fifth week in utero as a series of mesodermal outpouchings on the left and right sides of the developing pharynx. ... Cartilage is type of dense connective tissue. ... The mucous membranes (or mucosae; singular: mucosa) are linings of ectodermic origin, covered in epithelium, and are involved in absorption and secretion. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...

Contents

Anatomy and function

The epiglottis guards the entrance of the glottis, the opening between the vocal folds. The space between the vocal cords is called the glottis. ... // Bold textItalic text The vocal folds, also known popularly as vocal cords, are composed of twin infoldings of mucous membrane stretched horizontally across the larynx. ...


It is normally pointed upward, but during swallowing, elevation of the hyoid bone draws the larynx upward; as a result, the epiglottis folds down to a more horizontal position. In this manner it prevents food from going into the trachea and instead directs it to the esophagus, which is more posterior. Swallowing, known scientifically as deglutition, is the reflex in the human body that makes something pass from the mouth, to the pharynx, into the esophagus, with the shutting of the epiglottis. ... The trachea, or windpipe, is a tube that has an inner diameter of about 12mm and a length of about 10-16cm. ... The esophagus (also spelled oesophagus/Å“sophagus, Greek ), or gullet is an organ in vertebrates which consists of a muscular tube through which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach. ...


The epiglottis is one of three large cartilaginous structures that make up the larynx (voice box). The larynx (plural larynges), colloquially known as the voicebox, is an organ in the neck of mammals involved in protection of the trachea and sound production. ...


Clinical significance

Reflexes

The glossopharyngeal nerve (CN IX) sends fibers to the upper epiglottis that contribute to the afferent limb of the gag reflex. The superior laryngeal branch of the vagus nerve (CN X) sends fibers to the lower epiglottis that contribute to the afferent limb of the cough reflex. [2] The glossopharyngeal nerve is the ninth of twelve cranial nerves. ... In nervous systems, afferent signals or nerve fibers carry information toward the brain. ... Gag Reflex is a sketch comedy collective with ensembles near Chicago, Illinois and Austin, Texas. ... The vagus nerve (also called pneumogastric nerve or cranial nerve X) is the tenth of twelve paired cranial nerves, and is the only nerve that starts in the brainstem (within the medulla oblongata) and extends, through the jugular foramen, down below the head, to the abdomen. ... 59. ...


Infection of the epiglottis

In children, the epiglottis will occasionally become infected with Haemophilus influenzae or Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. Although easily treated, this condition is a medical emergency because without treatment the epiglottis may swell and block the trachea, causing massive inflammation. This condition has become rare in countries where vaccination against Haemophilus influenzae (HIB) is administered. Binomial name Haemophilus influenzae (Lehmann & Neumann 1896) Winslow 1917 Haemophilus influenzae, formerly called Pfeiffers bacillus or Bacillus influenzae, is a non-motile Gram-negative coccobacillus first described in 1892 by Dr. Richard Pfeiffer during an influenza pandemic. ... Binomial name Streptococcus pneumoniae (Klein 1884) Chester 1901 Streptococcus pneumoniae is a species of Streptococcus that is a major human pathogen. ... Vaccination is the process of administering pathogens that cant reproduce (due to being weakened or dead) to a healthy person or animal, with the intent of conferring immunity against a targeted form of a related disease agent. ...


Additional images

References

  1. ^ Embryology at UNC hednk-025d
  2. ^ April, Ernest. Clinical Anatomy, 3rd ed. Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public, coeducational, research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Meet your epiglottis! (467 words)
The epiglottis is a fairly large piece of cartilage that is covered with mucosa, the same pink tissue that lines the mouth and throat.
The epiglottis acts as a flap valve, protecting the airway when people swallow.
It is not at all uncommon to see the epiglottis when you ask a toddler to say, "Aaah." Occasionally, this odd bit of anatomy (a "high" epiglottis) persists into adult life.
Epiglottitis (472 words)
The epiglottis is a flap of tissue that sits at the base of the tongue that keeps food from going into the trachea, or windpipe, during swallowing.
This may cause the throat structures to push the epiglottis backward.
With continued inflammation and swelling of the epiglottis, complete blockage of the airway may occur, leading to suffocation and death.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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