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|Inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle|
|Muscles of the pharynx and cheek. (Constrictor pharyngis inferior visible at bottom left.)|
|Muscles of the pharynx, viewed from behind, together with the associated vessels and nerves. (Inf. const. labeled at bottom center.)|
|Latin||musculus constrictor pharyngis inferior|
|Gray's||subject #244 1142|
|Origin||cricoid and thyroid cartilage|
|Nerve||Pharyngeal plexus of vagus nerve|
The Inferior pharyngeal constrictor, the thickest of the three constrictors, arises from the sides of the cricoid and thyroid cartilage. Similarly to the superior and middle pharyngeal constrictor muscles, it is innervated by the vagus nerve (cranial nerve X), specifically, by branches from the pharyngeal plexus and by neuronal branches from the recurrent laryngeal nerve.
The muscle is composed of two parts. The first (and more superior) arising from the thyroid cartilage (thyropharyngeal part) and the second arising from the cricoid cartilage (cricopharyngeal part). 
As soon as the bolus of food is received in the pharynx, the elevator muscles relax, the pharynx descends, and the constrictors contract upon the bolus, and convey it downward into the esophagus.
Motor incoordination of the cricopharyngeus can cause difficulty swallowing.
Between the two bellies of the inferior constrictor (Thyropharyngeal and Cricopharyngeal) is a small gape called 'Killian's dehiscence'. It is clinically important as a diverticulum can form where a 'balloon' of mucosa becomes trapped outside the pharyngeal boundaries. Food or other materials may reside here, which may lead to infection.
|This muscle article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|