Anatomical characteristics of palatoglossus and the anterior faucial pillar

D. P. Kuehn, N. A. Azzam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Palatoglossus muscle and the anterior faucial pillar were studied using three techniques: 1) gross dissection, 2) radiographic filming, and 3) histologic sectioning. The total subject sample included 25 normal adult male and female cadavers. The Palatoglossus muscle has a flattened belly within the faucial pillar, a fan-shaped termination within the palate, and a vertical tapering termination within the tongue. The region of attachment into the palate differs among individuals which could influence its relative importance in velar versus lingual movement. The pillar contains a large investment of loose connective tissue which also penetrates the palatoglossus. The collagenous framework would apparently allow expansion of the pillars but also prevent rupture of the tissue at extreme extension. The anterior portion of the pillar contains a sheath of elastic fibers with a density gradient increasing from the tongue to the soft palate. The elastic fibers, which also intermingle with palatoglossus fascicles, could provide a restorative force in lowering the palate, helping to keep the nasopharyngeal airway patent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-359
Number of pages11
JournalCleft Palate Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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