The digestive tract, with the esophagus marked in red
Anatomy of the larynx, anterolateral view
The esophagus is constricted in three places.
The basic parts of the human larynx.
A mass seen during an endoscopy and an ultrasound of the mass conducted during the endoscopy session.
Vocal cords abducted and adducted
Extrinsic laryngeal muscles
Image of endoscopy
Endoscopic image of an inflamed human larynx
Larynx. Deep dissection. Anterior view.
Larynx. Deep dissection. Posterior view.

During swallowing, the epiglottis tilts backwards to prevent food from going down the larynx and lungs.

- Esophagus

It is situated just below where the tract of the pharynx splits into the trachea and the esophagus.

- Larynx
The digestive tract, with the esophagus marked in red

9 related topics

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Conducting passages

Trachea

Conducting passages
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Lymph nodes of the trachea.
Tracheal diverticulum as seen on axial CT imaging
Tracheal system of dissected cockroach. The largest tracheae run across the width of the body of the cockroach and are horizontal in this image. Scale bar, 2 mm.
The tracheal system branches into progressively smaller tubes, here supplying the crop of the cockroach. Scale bar, 2 mm.
thumb|Cross section of a trachea and esophagus
The sternohyoid and sternothyroid muscles lie on top of the upper part of the trachea
The thyroid gland also lies on top of the trachea, and lies below the cricoid cartilage.
Cross-section
Cross-section of the trachea, with pseudostratified ciliated columnar epithelium and goblet cells labelled
Magnified cross-section of the cartilage of the trachea.
Trachea
Coronal section of larynx and upper part of trachea
alt=Trachea (mammal) cross-section high resolution|Trachea (mammal) cross-section high resolution
alt=Trachea (mammal) cross-section low resolution|Trachea (mammal) cross-section low resolution

The trachea, also known as the windpipe, is a cartilaginous tube that connects the larynx to the bronchi of the lungs, allowing the passage of air, and so is present in almost all air-breathing animals with lungs.

Behind the trachea, along its length, sits the oesophagus, followed by connective tissue and the vertebral column.

View of the larynx from behind. The epiglottis is the structure at the top of the image.

Epiglottis

Leaf-shaped flap in the throat that prevents food and water from entering the windpipe and the lungs.

Leaf-shaped flap in the throat that prevents food and water from entering the windpipe and the lungs.

View of the larynx from behind. The epiglottis is the structure at the top of the image.
Location of the epiglottis
A high rising epiglottis (with forward-facing surface being visible)
Cross-section of the larynx, with structures including the epiglottis labelled.
Cross-section of the larynx of a horse. The epiglottis here is shown as '2'.
Structures of the larynx as viewed during laryngoscopy. The leaf-like epiglottis is shown as number '3'. Other structures: 1=vocal folds, 2=vestibular fold, 3=epiglottis, 4=plica aryepiglottica, 5=arytenoid cartilage, 6=sinus piriformis, 7=dorsum of the tongue

During swallowing, it closes to prevent aspiration of food into the lungs, forcing the swallowed liquids or food to go along the esophagus toward the stomach instead.

The epiglottis is made of elastic cartilage covered with a mucous membrane, attached to the entrance of the larynx.

Head and inner neck

Pharynx

Head and inner neck
Upper respiratory system, with the nasopharynx, oropharynx and laryngopharynx labeled at left
Details of torus tubarius
Pharyngitis is the painful swelling of the throat. The oropharynx shown here is very inflamed and red.
An illustration of the pharyngeal jaws of a moray eel
Everted pharynx of Alitta virens (also known as Nereis virens), lateral view
Pharynx of the flatworm Prorhynchus fontinalis
Pharynx of the flatworm Platydemus manokwari visible as the worm feeds on a snail.
Longitudinal section through the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans showing the position of the pharynx in the animal body.
Microscopic cross section through the pharynx of a larva from an unknown lamprey species.
Nose and nasal
Coronal section of right ear, showing auditory tube and levator veli palatini muscle
The entrance to the larynx, viewed from behind
Deep dissection of human larynx, pharynx and tongue seen from behind
The nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx or larynx can be seen clearly in this sagittal section of the head and neck.

The pharynx (plural: pharynges) is the part of the throat behind the mouth and nasal cavity, and above the oesophagus and trachea (the tubes going down to the stomach and the lungs).

The pharynx carries food and air to the esophagus and larynx respectively.

Anterolateral view of head and neck (cricoid cartilage labeled at center left)

Cricoid cartilage

Only complete ring of cartilage around the trachea.

Only complete ring of cartilage around the trachea.

Anterolateral view of head and neck (cricoid cartilage labeled at center left)
Cricoid cartilage.
Larynx
The cartilages of the larynx. Posterior view.
Ligaments of the larynx. Posterior view.
Sagittal section of the larynx and upper part of the trachea.
Cricoid cartilage

It forms the back part of the voice box and functions as an attachment site for muscles, cartilages, and ligaments involved in opening and closing the airway and in producing speech.

Gastric reflux could cause aspiration if this is not done considering the general anesthesia can cause relaxation of the gastroesophageal sphincter allowing stomach contents to ascend through the esophagus into the trachea.

Position of human cervical vertebrae (shown in red). It consists of 7 bones, from top to bottom, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, and C7.

Cervical vertebrae

In tetrapods, cervical vertebrae (singular: vertebra) are the vertebrae of the neck, immediately below the skull.

In tetrapods, cervical vertebrae (singular: vertebra) are the vertebrae of the neck, immediately below the skull.

Position of human cervical vertebrae (shown in red). It consists of 7 bones, from top to bottom, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, and C7.
Side view of a typical cervical vertebra
Despite greatly differing neck lengths, okapi (left) and giraffe (right) both have seven cervical vertebrae. The giraffe's neck is elongated by heterochrony, extension of the time for the embryonic development of these bones.
Position of C7 shown in red.
Scrollable computed tomography images of normal cervical vertebrae
Position of cervical vertebrae (shown in red). Animation.
Illustration of cervical vertebrae
Shape of cervical vertebrae (shown in blue and yellow). Animation.
Cervical vertebrae, lateral view (shown in blue and yellow)
Vertebral column
Vertebral column
X-ray of cervical vertebrae
X-ray of cervical spine in flexion and extension
First cervical vertebra, or atlas
Second cervical vertebra, or epistropheus, from above
Second cervical vertebra, epistropheus, or axis, from the side
Seventh cervical vertebra
Posterior atlanto-occipital membrane and atlantoaxial ligament
Median sagittal section through the occipital bone and first three cervical vertebrae
Section of the neck at about the level of the sixth cervical vertebra
Anterior view of cervical spine showing the vertebral arteries along with the spinal nerves. See this in 3d here.

At C6, the oesophagus becomes continuous with the laryngopharynx and also where the larynx becomes continuous with the trachea. It is also the level where the carotid pulse can be palpated against the transverse process of the C6 vertebrae.

Plan of the upper portions of the glossopharyngeal, vagus, and accessory nerves.

Vagus nerve

Cranial nerve that interfaces with the parasympathetic control of the heart, lungs, and digestive tract.

Cranial nerve that interfaces with the parasympathetic control of the heart, lungs, and digestive tract.

Plan of the upper portions of the glossopharyngeal, vagus, and accessory nerves.
H&E stained fibers of the vagus nerve (bottom right) innervate the sinoatrial node tissue (middle left)
Inferior view of the human brain, with the cranial nerves labeled.
Section of the neck at about the level of the sixth cervical vertebra
Transverse section of thorax, showing relations of pulmonary artery
The arch of the aorta, and its branches
Dura mater and its processes exposed by removing part of the right half of the skull, and the brain
The tracheobronchial lymph glands
Section of the medulla oblongata at about the middle of the olive
Hind- and mid-brains; postero-lateral view
Upper part of medulla spinalis and hind- and mid-brains; posterior aspect, exposed in situ
The right sympathetic chain and its connections with the thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic plexuses
The celiac ganglia with the sympathetic plexuses of the abdominal viscera radiating from the ganglia
The position and relation of the esophagus in the cervical region and in the posterior mediastinum, seen from behind
The thyroid gland and its relations
The thymus of a full-term fetus, exposed in situ
Deep dissection of vagus nerve
Vagus nerve – dissection

The right vagus nerve gives rise to the right recurrent laryngeal nerve, which hooks around the right subclavian artery and ascends into the neck between the trachea and esophagus.

Muscles of the larynx (speech).

Sagittal view of mouth and pharynx

Swallowing

Sagittal view of mouth and pharynx
A pelican swallowing a fish

Swallowing, sometimes called deglutition in scientific contexts, is the process in the human or animal body that allows for a substance to pass from the mouth, to the pharynx, and into the esophagus, while shutting the epiglottis.

For the pharyngeal phase to work properly all other egress from the pharynx must be occluded—this includes the nasopharynx and the larynx.

Many of the internal organs of the human body

Organ (biology)

Organ is a collection of tissues joined in a structural unit to serve a common function.

Organ is a collection of tissues joined in a structural unit to serve a common function.

Many of the internal organs of the human body
The liver and gallbladder of a sheep
Relationship of major animal lineages with indication of how long ago these animals shared a common ancestor. On the left, important organs are shown, which allows us to determine how long ago these may have evolved.
The flower is the angiosperm's reproductive organ. This Hibiscus flower is hermaphroditic, and it contains stamen and pistils.
Strobilus of Equisetum telmateia
Human viscera

Digestive system: digestion and processing food with salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, intestines, colon, rectum and anus.

Respiratory system: the organs used for breathing, the pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs and diaphragm.

X-ray showing radiocontrast from the stomach (white material below diaphragm) entering the esophagus (three vertical collections of white material in the mid-line of the chest) due to severe reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

X-ray showing radiocontrast from the stomach (white material below diaphragm) entering the esophagus (three vertical collections of white material in the mid-line of the chest) due to severe reflux
Frontal view of severe tooth erosion in GERD.
Severe tooth erosion in GERD.
A comparison of a healthy condition to GERD
Endoscopic image of peptic stricture, or narrowing of the esophagus near the junction with the stomach: This is a complication of chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease and can be a cause of dysphagia or difficulty swallowing.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a chronic condition in which stomach contents and acid rise up into the esophagus, resulting in symptoms and/or complications.

Another kind of acid reflux, which causes respiratory and laryngeal signs and symptoms, is called laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) or "extraesophageal reflux disease" (EERD).