Posterior Commissure of the Human Larynx Revisited

Volume 24, Issue 3, Pages 252-259 (May 2010)
Journal of Voice

Posterior Commissure of the Human Larynx Revisited

John A. Tucker∗†, Sean T. Tucker∗†
Accepted 9 December 2008. published online 08 June 2009.

Summary
The existence of the posterior commissure (PC) of the human larynx has been disputed (Hirano M, Sato K, et al. The posterior glottis. Trans Am Laryngol Assoc. 1986;107:70–75). “The term posterior commissure has no relevance to anatomical structure. The term commissure means a joining together. The bilateral vocal folds never join at their posterior ends. The posterior aspect of the glottis is a wall. The posterior lateral aspect of the posterior glottis is also the lateral wall of the posterior glottis” (Hirano M, Sato K, et al. The posterior glottis. Trans Am Laryngol Assoc. 1986;107:70–75). This study is intended to clarify the development of anatomical and morphological aspects of the PC in conjunction with a clinical classification of the larynx in sagittal view. This study uses human embryo and fetal laryngeal sections from the Carnegie Collection of Human Embryos (the world standard) and whole organ laryngeal sections from the Tucker Laryngeal Fetal Collection. Correlation of histologic and gross anatomical structure is made with the Hirano et al atlas, the Vidić Photographic Atlas of the Human Body, and the O'Rahilly Embryonic Atlas. Embryologic data clearly describe and illustrate the posterior union of the cricoid cartilage with formation of the PC. The anatomical functional aspects of the posterior lateral cricoid lamina as the supporting buttress of the articulating arytenoid cartilages are illustrated.

Key Words: Stages, Histogenesis of cartilage, Interstitial growth, Appositional growth