Research Article| Volume 33, ISSUE 5, P620-626, September 2019

Comparative Anatomy of Pig Arytenoid Cartilage and Human Arytenoid Cartilage



      This study aims to investigate the feasibility of pig arytenoid cartilage as an animal model for simulating arytenoidectomy under microlaryngoscope by comparing the similarities and differences between pig arytenoid cartilage and human arytenoid cartilage.

      Study Design

      This is a methodological study on the excised pig arytenoid cartilage and human arytenoid cartilage.


      Five excised human adult cadaver larynges and five adult excised porcine larynges were dissected and all the soft tissue and mucous membrane attached to the arytenoid and cricoarytenoid joint were removed. The anatomical structure and morphology of the arytenoid cartilage were observed and measured with a vernier caliper. Measurements included cricoarytenoid articular facet major and minor diameter, cricoarytenoid articular facet center distance, cricoarytenoid facet major and minor diameter, length of vocal process and muscular process, and distance between tip of vocal process, muscular process, and junction/apex of arytenoid cartilage. Data were then compared across these major anatomic markers using student t test.


      The gross anatomy of the pig arytenoid cartilage was similar to the human. However, the size of the pig larynx arytenoid cartilage was obviously larger in total, and there was statistical significance for almost all measurements (P < 0.05), except the mean value of cricoarytenoid articular facet center distance, the cricoarytenoid facet minor diameter, and the length of vocal process of pig and human, without statistically significant difference (P > 0.05). Moreover, the biggest differences between the pig arytenoid cartilage and the human arytenoid cartilage were that the pig arytenoid cartilage apex had the angle winding structure toward the back, and that the posterior part of the bilateral arytenoid cartilages was partially connected. Whereas after the angle winding was removed from the junction, pig arytenoid cartilage and human arytenoid cartilage were shaped both like a triangular pyramid.


      The data of this metric comparative study indicate that pig arytenoid, after resecting the angle winding structure and incising the interarytenoid cartilage, is similar to the human's. Therefore, pig larynx is an appropriate experimental model for endoscopic arytenoidectomy. In addition, regarding the pig laryngeal angle winding structure, we still require further basic and clinical research to clarify its physiological function and significance.

      Key Words

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