The Epiglottis: Its Attachments and Relations to Surrounding Structures
The Journal of Laryngology and Rhinology
As a teacher of anatomy now, for several years, when endeavouring to explain and simplify the description of the larynx and adjoining parts, I have always experienced some difficulty when following the description in the books. I have endeavoured to reconcile the actual state of things with that description. My difficulties at once beset me when the region of the epiglottis was approached, and whilst following almost word for word the description as found in the books, I was conscious that the
... conscious that the arrangements so described were not found in nature. The epiglottis may be looked upon as a fence or partition, moored by various bands between the oral and pharyngo-oral cavities. The epiglottis is attached by its lower pointed extremity to the angle between the two alae of the thyroid cartilage. It stands on this pointed extremity as a cone resting on its apex. The epiglottis is formed of a piece of fibro-elastic cartilage, with thick, sharply-cut edges ; these edges curve backwards slightly, and are embraced by the mucous membrane on the inner and outer aspects of the aryteno-epiglottidean folds. The mucous membrane on the inner aspect of the aryteno-epiglottidean fold passes directly on to the posterior surface of the epiglottis over its free border, which is quite evident from behind ; on the outer side of the aryteno-epiglottidean fold, the mucous membrane does not come in contact with the anterior edge of the free border, but passes upwards and outwards at some distance on to what will presently be described as the hyo-epiglottic membrane. The whole anterior surface of the epiglottis rests upon, and is, as it were, glued to, a membrane almost entirely composed of elastic tissue, thin comparatively, but very strong.