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Lateral cricoarytenoid muscle (anatomy)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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The lateral cricoarytenoid muscles are one of the muscles of the vocal folds. Bilaterally, they arise from the lateral surface of the arch of the cricoid cartilage. They pass posterosuperiorly to insert into the muscular process of the arytenoid cartilage.

They are innervated by the recurrent laryngeal branch of the vagus nerve (X).

The lateral cricoarytenoid muscles act to draw the muscular processes of the arytenoid cartilages anteriorly. This rotates the cartilages resulting in adduction of the vocal folds. Consequently, the rima glottidis is closed.

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