An anatomic study of the tensor veli palatini and dilatator tubae muscles in relation to eustachian tube and velar function

Raffi Barsoumian, David P. Kuehn, Jerald B. Moon, John W. Canady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In a gross anatomic study of 20 sides in 16 human head specimens, the tensor veil palatini, the dilatator tubae, and the tensor tympani muscles were studied. The tensor veil palatini was observed to insert onto the anterior one-third of the pterygoid hamulus, whereas the dilatator tubae rounded the middle one-third of the pterygoid hamulus without an insertion. Thus, the dilatator tubae, not the tensor veil palatini, could serve to tense the anterior velum. An insertion from the superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle onto the posterior one-third of the hamulus could provide a curbing function for the dilatator tubae muscle. Adipose tissue, located at the hamulus, could provide lubrication for the tendinous fibers of the dilatator tubae as they round the hamulus. The dilatator tubae was observed to attach to the hook of the eustachian tube and is accepted as the tubal dilator. Observed on 13 of 20 sides in 11 specimens, the bulk of the dilatator tubae remained distinct from the tensor veil palatini despite a connective tissue alliance and intermingling of some muscle fibers. On 5 of 20 sides in 5 specimens, fibers of the dilatator tubae intermingled extensively with the tensor veil palatini. Of the 20 dilatator tubae muscles dissected, 2 were observed to be deficient. The tensor veil palatini was observed to be continuous with the tensor tympani. Full color versions of the figures are available at the following website: http://www.shc.uiowa.edu/papers/tensor/.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1998

Keywords

  • Dilatator tubae
  • Eustachian tube
  • Tensor velipalatini
  • Velum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology

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