Salpingopharyngeus is one of the muscles of the soft palate and pharynx. It arises from the inferior cartilage and mucosa of the pharyngeal orofice of the pharyngotympanic tube. It passes inferiorly within the salpingopharyngeal fold to merge with palatopharyngeus. It inserts into the superior border of the thyroid cartilage and the inferior constrictor fibres.
Salpingopharyngeus acts to:
- elevate the pharynx, so aiding in swallowing
- elevate the larynx
- open the cartilaginous end of the pharyngotympanic tube in conjunction with tensor veli palatini
It is innervated by the cranial part of the accessory nerve (XI) via its motor fibres from the pharyngeal plexus. Also, there may be a contribution from the pharyngeal branches of the vagus nerve (X).
The blood supply for salpingopharyngeus arises from the:
- ascending branch of the facial artery
- greater palatine branch of the maxillary artery
- pharyngeal branch of the ascending pharyngeal artery