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Cricothyroid muscle

Other Terms: Cricothyroideus, Muscles of the the larynx, Laryngeal muscles, Cricothyroid, Musculus cricothyroideus, Muscle crico-thyroïdien

Muscle parts

Straight part; Oblique part

Latin name

Musculus cricothyroideus

Latin muscle parts

Pars recta; Pars obliqua


Branchial arch muscle – fourth arch (Laryngeal muscle)


In English, this muscle’s name is the muscle of the ring and shield-shapes (referring to the shapes of the cartilages to which it attaches.) Crico comes from the Greek krikos meaning “ring,” which is a reference to the ring-like cricoid cartilage of the larynx. While thyroid is from the Greek term thyreos for “shield” plus the suffix eidos meaning “shape or form.” The Greek word thyreos comes from thyra meaning door and referred to a large, oblong stone that was used as a door. The term thyreos was later used to refer to large oblong shields used by Minoan warriors. The shields covered them from shoulders to feet, with the top of the shield having a notch for the chin. It was this shield that the ancient anatomist Galen envisioned when he named the laryngeal cartilage in the 2nd Century.


Anterolateral surface of the cricoid cartilage


Anterior surface of the inferior thyroid cornu and the lower margin of the thyroid lamina


Rotate the thyroid cartilage anterior and inferior to tighten the vocal ligaments.

Nerve supply

Vagus nerve (Cranial nerve X)

Blood supply

A small branch of the superior thyroid artery called the cricothyroid artery enters the superficial surface of the muscle.


Musculus cricothyroideus


Muscle crico-thyroïdien


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