Head and neck Reference Libraries

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Pituitary gland
2013-04-30 10:34:49

The pituitary gland, also called the hypophysis, is an endocrine organ found within a small, bony cavity at the base of the brain. Its primary function is to secrete hormones that regulate homeostasis. More specifically, the pituitary gland is a glandular structure about the size of a pea. It is located below the brain and above the nasal cavity in a protected pocket called the sella...

Pineal Gland
2013-04-30 10:31:18

The pineal gland, also called the epiphysis cerebri, is an endocrine organ located in the brain. Its primary function is to regulate the sleep cycle and influence sexual development. It is a reddish-gray glandular structure that forms the roof of the third ventricle in the brain, between the two lateral ventricles, tucked in a groove near the thalamic bodies. Its body is relatively the size of...

2013-03-05 15:00:19

The pharynx is situated directly after the mouth and nose and lies right before the esophagus. Formation and Orientation The pharynx is divided into three separate sections. The nasopharynx is the first part of the pharynx that lies between the soft palate and the base of the skull. The pharyngeal tonsils are located on the back wall of the nasopharynx. This portion of the pharynx is...

2013-03-04 13:43:30

The hypothalamus is an organ that serves as an important link, along the hypothalamic-hypophyseal axis, between the nervous system and the endocrine system. It is located within the cranial cavity, in the cerebrum, right below the thalamus. It also forms the floor of the third ventricle in the brain. It contains neural pathways, blood vessels, glial cells, and secretory cells—all of which...

2013-01-18 11:28:50

The trachea, commonly called the windpipe, is the air passage-way from the mouth to the lungs. Non-fish vertebrae all have a trachea. The moist with mucus walls of the tube-like structure trap inhaled particles to keep them from entering the lungs. Structure The trachea is an open-ended cylindrical structure that starts at the larynx and ends at the bifurcation. It is about one inch in...

2013-01-18 11:24:15

The tonsil is an organ that functions within the lymphatic system. It is a mass of lymphoid tissue located in the throat as a first line defense against pathogens as they are inhaled or ingested. Types and Locations The most commonly spoken of tonsil is the palatine tonsil. These tonsils are located in the back of the throat on each side of the oropharynx. Adenoids are the second most...

2013-01-18 11:20:23

The larynx is an organ that is located within the throat, commonly referred to as the “voicebox”. While the larynx is the primary organ responsible for voice production, it is also crucial in breathing and protecting the airway structures. Location and Structure The larynx is a tube-shaped organ with an average length of four inches. It is located between the hypopharynx and the...

2012-12-31 12:28:34

In 1861 Adam Politzer of Vienna spent much time studying the air movement in the Eustachian tubes and the ear canal. He would measure the air movement by attaching a manometer, a very large gauge, to the ear canal and the pharynx. He developed an apparatus known as the Politzer bag in 1863 which is a less invasive way to clear the Eustachian tubes. Procedure Politzerization, also known as...

2012-07-01 19:23:24

The Esophagus is an organ which consists of a muscular tube through which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach. During swallowing, food passes from the mouth through the pharynx into the esophagus and travels to the stomach via peristalsis -- a radially symmetrical contraction and relaxation of muscles that propagate in a wave downward. The word esophagus is derived from the Greek...

Cricothyroid ligament
2012-07-01 19:07:37

The cricothyroid ligament makes up the largest part of the laryngeal membrane, consisting of a median (anterior) and twin lateral ligaments. The median cricothyroid ligament is a flat band of white tissue joining the cricoid and thyroid cartilages. The lateral cricothyroid ligament is also known as the conus elasticus. The main function of the ligament is to keep the cricoid and thyroid from...

Word of the Day
  • A pivoted catch designed to fall into a notch on a ratchet wheel so as to allow movement in only one direction (e.g. on a windlass or in a clock mechanism), or alternatively to move the wheel in one direction.
The word 'pawl' probably comes from a Latin word meaning 'stake'.