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pharyngeal plexus (anatomy)

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The pharyngeal plexus is a group of fine, ramifying nerve fibres on the posterior aspect of the pharynx which are centred around the middle constrictor muscles. They are derived from several sources:

  • pharyngeal branches of the vagus nerve; supply:
    • efferent motor fibres from the cranial part of the accessory nerve which originate within the nucleus ambiguus
    • afferent general somatic fibres originating in the sensory nucleus of the trigeminal nerve
  • pharyngeal branches of glossopharyngeal nerve; supplies afferent fibres from the pharyngeal mucosa. Note that the glossopharyngeal branch to stylopharyngeus is entirely separate.
  • cervical sympathetic fibres; vasoconstrict within the pharynx