The Thyrohyoid Muscle: A Crucial Player in Deglutition and Vocalization

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Yeseong Cho; Jeong Joon Han; Jung Hwan Jo & Young-Seok Park


The thyrohyoid muscle is one of the four infrahyoid muscles. Its role in vocalization and deglutition could be often overlooked, despite its crucial participation in these processes. Unlike other infrahyoid muscles, the thyrohyoid muscle receives innervation from the first cervical spinal nerves which contributes to its unique function. Its primary action involves hyolaryngeal elevation during swallowing, contributing to the opening of the upper esophageal sphincter. In conjunction with other muscles, it also protects the airway and facilitates the passage of food into the esophagus. Variations in the muscle’s thickness may exist, and its function can be influenced by chewing habits. Weakened muscles involved in swallowing are often associated with dysphagia, a common complication in stroke and brain-injured patients. Advanced imaging techniques and sleep studies have provided insights into the dynamics and frequency of swallowing. This review explores the anatomic structures, function in action, diagnosis and clinical implications of this muscle. Overall, understanding the significance of the thyrohyoid muscle enhances our comprehension of the intricate interplay of laryngeal muscles during vocalization and deglutition.

KEY WORDS: Thyrohyoid muscle; Anatomy; Deglutition; Vocalization; Dysphagia.

How to cite this article

CHO, Y.; HAN, J. J.; JO, J. H. & PARK, Y. S. The thyrohyoid muscle: A crucial player in deglutition and vocalization. Int. J. Morphol., 42(2):280-288, 2024