The hypopharynx begins as the continuation of the oropharynx at the pharyngoepiglottic fold (which is at the level of the hyoid bone) superiorly, and extends inferiorly to the level of the inferior aspect of the cricoid cartilage, where it continues as the cervical esophagus.
- anteriorly: post-cricoid mucosa, posterior cricoarytenoid muscle
- posteriorly: mucosal wall, middle and inferior constrictor muscles
- superiorly: hyoid bone, glossoepiglottic and pharyngoepiglottic folds
- inferiorly: cricoid cartilage, cricopharyngeus muscle
Three subsites of the hypopharynx are described, being pertinent to localize where squamous cell carcinoma arises: