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Sixth branchial arch muscles

Other Terms: Laryngeal muscles, Muscles of the larynx


The muscles from the sixth branchial arch develop in association with the larynx and vocal anatomy. As the developing lungs branch from the pharyngeal end of the gut tube, muscle tissue from the sixth branchial arch migrates around the proximal end of this newly developing air passageway. The individual muscles develop in association with the emerging cartilaginous walls of the larynx. These small muscles modify the vocal cords in a variety of ways. Some attach directly into the tissue of the vocal folds to modify their tension, while others move the surrounding cartilages to produce changes in tension in the vocal tissues. As a result, these muscles are responsible for regulating the pitch of the sounds produced in the larynx. These muscles are often referred to as the intrinsic muscles of the larynx. Like the closely related muscles of the fourth arch, the sixth arch muscles also receive a nerve supply from the vagus nerve.


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