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Form and Function of the Upper Airways and Larynx

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Abstract

The sections in this article are:

1 Upper Respiratory Tract as a Conducting Airway
2 Oronasal Breathing
3 Nasal Cycle
4 Effects of Nasal Breathing on Breathing Mechanics
5 Larynx
6 Patency and Obstruction of the Airways
Figure 1. Figure 1.

Xeroradiography illustrating upper airways in contrast to surrounding structures.

Figure 2. Figure 2.

Diagram of nasal airway showing sections through passage for 1 side of nasal valve (left) and midpassage (right). Nasal valve extends from nostrils through region indicated by dashed line at left and to anterior end of inferior turbinate.

From Proctor and Andersen
Figure 3. Figure 3.

Lines of inspiratory airflow determined from model studies. Most lines are between septum and meatus nasi medius. Nasal valve extends through region where bends in lines of flow begin.

Figure 4. Figure 4.

Radiograph showing velopharyngeal closure (heavy black line, upper right) and apposition of palate to the posterior nasopharyngeal wall.

Figure 5. Figure 5.

Frames from cinefluorograph (right) and tracings (left) showing variable positions of palate (P) and tongue (T). Upper pair, position found in most instances of oronasal breathing.

From Proctor
Figure 6. Figure 6.

Inspiratory (upper right) and expiratory (lower left) pressure‐flow relationships in the nose on maximum effort. Ordinate, flow; abscissa, pressure.

From Proctor
Figure 7. Figure 7.

Airflow resistance through the wide oral airway (oral) and nose (nasal). Ordinate, flow; abscissa, pressure.

From Proctor
Figure 8. Figure 8.

Changes in nasal airflow resistance from side to side in the nasal cycle.

From Eccles
Figure 9. Figure 9.

Flow‐volume curves, pressure‐flow charts, and pneumotachograms from normal subject breathing through nose (N) and mouthpiece (M) with nose clipped.

Data from M. Sheridan, unpublished observations
Figure 10. Figure 10.

A: laryngeal cartilages and ligaments; 3, vocal cords lengthen when cricothyroid muscles approximate the anterior ends of thyroid and cricoid cartilages. B: intrinsic laryngeal musculature.

From Proctor
Figure 11. Figure 11.

Action of various intrinsic muscles on arytenoid cartilages to open and close the glottis.



Figure 1.

Xeroradiography illustrating upper airways in contrast to surrounding structures.



Figure 2.

Diagram of nasal airway showing sections through passage for 1 side of nasal valve (left) and midpassage (right). Nasal valve extends from nostrils through region indicated by dashed line at left and to anterior end of inferior turbinate.

From Proctor and Andersen


Figure 3.

Lines of inspiratory airflow determined from model studies. Most lines are between septum and meatus nasi medius. Nasal valve extends through region where bends in lines of flow begin.



Figure 4.

Radiograph showing velopharyngeal closure (heavy black line, upper right) and apposition of palate to the posterior nasopharyngeal wall.



Figure 5.

Frames from cinefluorograph (right) and tracings (left) showing variable positions of palate (P) and tongue (T). Upper pair, position found in most instances of oronasal breathing.

From Proctor


Figure 6.

Inspiratory (upper right) and expiratory (lower left) pressure‐flow relationships in the nose on maximum effort. Ordinate, flow; abscissa, pressure.

From Proctor


Figure 7.

Airflow resistance through the wide oral airway (oral) and nose (nasal). Ordinate, flow; abscissa, pressure.

From Proctor


Figure 8.

Changes in nasal airflow resistance from side to side in the nasal cycle.

From Eccles


Figure 9.

Flow‐volume curves, pressure‐flow charts, and pneumotachograms from normal subject breathing through nose (N) and mouthpiece (M) with nose clipped.

Data from M. Sheridan, unpublished observations


Figure 10.

A: laryngeal cartilages and ligaments; 3, vocal cords lengthen when cricothyroid muscles approximate the anterior ends of thyroid and cricoid cartilages. B: intrinsic laryngeal musculature.

From Proctor


Figure 11.

Action of various intrinsic muscles on arytenoid cartilages to open and close the glottis.

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How to Cite

Donald F. Proctor. Form and Function of the Upper Airways and Larynx. Compr Physiol 2011, Supplement 12: Handbook of Physiology, The Respiratory System, Mechanics of Breathing: 63-73. First published in print 1986. doi: 10.1002/cphy.cp030306