Pharyngeal plexus of vagus nerve
The pharyngeal plexus is a network of nerve fibers innervating most of the palate and pharynx. (Larynx, which is innervated by superior and recurrent laryngeal nerve from vagus nerve (CN X), is not included)
|Pharyngeal plexus of vagus nerves|
Muscles of the pharynx, viewed from behind, together with the associated vessels and nerves. (Pharyngeal plexus visible but not labeled.)
|Latin||plexus pharyngeus nervi vagi|
|Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy|
It is located on the surface of the middle pharyngeal constrictor muscle.
Although the Terminologia Anatomica name of the plexus has "vagus nerve" in the title, other nerves make contributions to the plexus.
- CN IX – pharyngeal branches of glossopharyngeal nerve – sensory
- CN X – pharyngeal branch of vagus nerve – motor
- superior cervical ganglion sympathetic fibers – vasomotor
The pharyngeal plexus provides sensory innervation of the oropharynx and laryngopharynx from CN IX and CN X. (The nasopharynx above the pharyngotympanic tube and the torus tubarius is innervated by CN V2).
The pharyngeal plexus, with fibers from CN IX, CN X, and cranial part of CN XI, innervates all the muscles of the pharynx (except stylopharyngeus, which is innervated directly by a branch of CN IX).
Note that the intrinsic muscles of the larynx are innervated by the vagus nerve but not by the pharyngeal plexus. Instead, they are innervated by the recurrent laryngeal nerve and the external branch of the superior laryngeal nerve, branches of the vagus.