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Keywords:

  • larynx;
  • vestibule;
  • supraglottis;
  • embryology

Abstract

Background

Two theories explain the origin of human laryngeal ventricles: (1) ventricles derive from the fifth pharyngeal pouches; (2) development independent from the pouches.

Methods

In all, there were 21 serially sectioned human embryos from stages 15 to 23, and 11 fetuses of 9 to 18 weeks. Computer-aided 3-dimentional reconstructions were made.

Results

The cranial part of the laryngeal sulcus and future vestibule expands from the pharyngeal floor between the third and fourth pharyngeal pouches during stages 15 and 16 (33–37 days). The primordia of the ventricles appeared at stage 18 (44 days) as 2 lateral swellings in the caudal end of the future vestibule, limited by the third pharyngeal pouches. Active epithelial expansion and subsequent canalization during late embryonic and early fetal periods finalizes their development.

Conclusions

The laryngeal ventricles do not derive from the pharyngeal pouches but the median region of the pharyngeal floor between the third and fourth pharyngeal pouches and arches at the caudal end of the future vestibule. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2013