Name = PAGENAME
Latin = cartilago cricoidea
GraySubject = 236
GrayPage = 1074
Caption = Anterolateral view of head and neck. (Cricoid cartilage labeled at center left.)
Caption2 = The ligaments of the larynx. Antero-lateral view. (Cricoid cartilage visible near bottom center.)
Precursor = 4th and 6th
MeshName = Cricoid+Cartilage
MeshNumber = A02.165.507.211
The cricoid cartilage, or simply cricoid (from the Greek "krikoeides" meaning "ring-shaped"), is the only complete ring of
cartilagearound the trachea.
It sits just inferior to the
thyroid cartilagein the neck, and is joined to it medially by the median cricothyroid ligamentand postero-laterally by the cricothyroid joints. Inferiorto it are the rings of cartilage around the trachea (which are not continuous - rather they are C-shaped with a gap posteriorly). The cricoid is joined to the first tracheal ring by the cricotracheal ligament, and this can be felt as a more yielding area between the firm thyroid cartilage and firmer cricoid.
It is also anatomically related to the
thyroidgland; although the thyroid isthmusis inferior to it, the two lobes of the thyroid extend superiorly on each side of the cricoid as far as the thyroid cartilage above it.
The posterior part of the cricoid is slightly broader than the anterior and lateral parts, and is called the lamina, while the
anteriorpart is the band; this may be the reason for the common comparison made between the cricoid and a signet ring.
intubatinga patient under general anesthesiaprior to surgery, the anesthesiologistwill press on the cricoid cartilage to compress the esophagus behind it so as to prevent gastric refluxfrom occurring.
Gastric reflux could cause
aspirationif this is not done considering the general anesthesia can cause relaxation of the gastro-esophageal sphincterallowing stomach contents to ascend through the esophagus into the trachea.
* [http://www.nda.ox.ac.uk/wfsa/html/u02/u02_b03.htm Illustration at nda.ox.ac.uk]
* - "Skeleton of the larynx."
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