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Parapharyngeal space
Latin spatium lateropharyngeum; spatium pharyngeum laterale; spatium parapharyngeum

The parapharyngeal space (or lateral pharyngeal space) is a potential space in the neck.[1]

It has clinical importance in Otolaryngology due to parapharyngeal space tumours developing in this area.

Anatomical Boundaries

The parapharyngeal space is shaped like an inverted pyramid, with the skull base superiorly, and the greater cornu of the hyoid bone the apex, inferiorly.

The superior aspect is the base of skull, namely the sphenoid and temporal bones. It includes in this area the jugular and hypoglossal foramen and the foramen lacerum (through which the internal carotid artery passes.

The medial aspect is made up of the pharynx.

The anteriorly it bordered by the pterygomandibular raphe.

Posteriorly it is bordered by the cervical vertebrae and paravertebral muscles.

The lateral aspect is more involved, and is bordered by the ramus of the mandible, the deep lobe of the parotid gland, the medial pterygoid muscle, and below the level of the mandible, the lateral aspect is bordered by the fascia of the posterior belly of digastric muscle.

The parapharyngeal space is divided into 2 parts by the fascia joining the styloid process to the tensor veli palatini. These two compartments are named the pre-styloid and post-styloid compartments.

It includes the internal maxillary artery and ascending pharyngeal artery.[2]




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