Adam's apple

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Adam's apple
Structure of Adam's apple.png
Front view of the Adam's apple (laryngeal prominence)
Details
Precursor 4th and 6th pharyngeal arches
Identifiers
Latin Prominentia laryngea
TA98 A06.2.02.003
TA2 968
FMA 55304
Anatomical terminology

The Adam's apple, or laryngeal prominence, colloquially known as the neck triangle, is the lump or protrusion in the human neck formed by the angle of the thyroid cartilage surrounding the larynx seen especially in males.

Contents

Structure

The structure of the Adam's apple forms a bump under the skin. It is typically larger in adult males (its size tends to increase considerably during puberty [1] due to hormonal changes), in whom it is usually clearly visible and palpable. In females, the bump is much less visible and is hardly perceived on the upper edge of the thyroid cartilage. [2] In this way a larger Adam's apple can be considered a secondary sexual characteristic.[ citation needed ]

Function

The Adam's apple, in relation with the thyroid cartilage which forms it, helps protect the walls and the frontal part of the larynx, including the vocal cords (which are located directly behind it).

Another function of the Adam's apple is related to the deepening of the voice. During adolescence, the thyroid cartilage grows together with the larynx. Consequently, the laryngeal prominence grows in size mainly in men. Together, a larger soundboard is made up in phonation apparatus and, as a result, the man gets a deeper voice note. [3] [4]

Society and culture

Cosmetic surgery to reshape the Adam's apple is called chondrolaryngoplasty (thyroid cartilage reduction). The surgery is effective, such that complications tend to be few and, if present, transient. [5]

Etymology

An example of male laryngeal prominence Myneck.JPG
An example of male laryngeal prominence

There are two main theories as to the origin of the term "Adam's apple". The "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" and the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary point at an ancient belief that a piece of forbidden fruit was embedded in the throat of Adam, who according to the Abrahamic religions was the first man. [6] However, neither the Bible nor other Judeo-Christian or Islamic writings mention such a story. In fact, the biblical story does not even specify the type of fruit that Adam ate, though in the Western Christian tradition, the fruit is commonly portrayed as an apple. [7]

Linguist Alexander Gode claimed that the Latin phrase to designate the laryngeal prominence was very probably translated incorrectly from the beginning. The phrase in Latin was "pomum Adami" (literally: 'Adam's apple'). This, in turn, came from the Hebrew "tappuach ha adam" meaning "apple of man". The confusion lies in the fact that in Hebrew language the proper name "Adam" (אדם) literally means "man", and the word for "apple" is similar to the word "tafuach" which means "swollen", thus in combination: the swelling of a man. [8] [9] Proponents of this version contend that the subsequent phrases in Latin and other Romance languages represent a mistranslation from the start. [10]

The medical term "prominentia laryngea" (laryngeal prominence) was introduced by the Basle Nomina Anatomica in 1895. [11]

In the American South, goozle is used colloquially to describe the Adam's apple, likely derived from guzzle . [12] [13] [14] [15]

Additional images

See also

Related Research Articles

Larynx Voice box, an organ in the neck of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals

The larynx, commonly called the voice box, is an organ in the top of the neck involved in breathing, producing sound and protecting the trachea against food aspiration. The larynx houses the vocal folds, and manipulates pitch and volume, which is essential for phonation. It is situated just below where the tract of the pharynx splits into the trachea and the esophagus. The word larynx comes from a similar Ancient Greek word.

Neck Part of the body on many vertebrates that connects the head with the torso

The neck is the part of the body on many vertebrates that connects the head with the torso and provides the mobility and movements of the head. The structures of the human neck are anatomically grouped into four compartments; vertebral, visceral and two vascular compartments. Within these compartments, the neck houses the cervical vertebrae and cervical part of the spinal cord, upper parts of the respiratory and digestive tracts, endocrine glands, nerves, arteries and veins. Muscles of the neck are described separately from the compartments. They bound the neck triangles.

Trachea Cartilaginous tube that connects the pharynx and larynx to the lungs

The trachea, colloquially called the windpipe, is a cartilaginous tube that connects the larynx to the bronchi of the lungs, allowing the passage of air, and so is present in almost all air-breathing animals with lungs. The trachea extends from the larynx and branches into the two primary bronchi. At the top of the trachea the cricoid cartilage attaches it to the larynx. The trachea is formed by a number of horseshoe-shaped rings, joined together vertically by ligaments over their substance and by the trachealis muscle at their ends. The epiglottis closes the opening to the larynx during swallowing.

Laryngeal cancer respiratory system cancer that is located in the larynx

Laryngeal cancers are mostly squamous cell carcinomas, reflecting their origin from the skin of the larynx.

Forbidden fruit Object of irresistible temptation and disobedience in the first biblical narrative

Forbidden fruit is a name given to the fruit growing in the Garden of Eden which God commands mankind not to eat. In the biblical narrative, Adam and Eve eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and are exiled from Eden.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Recurrent laryngeal nerve Nerve in the human body

The recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) is a branch of the vagus nerve that supplies all the intrinsic muscles of the larynx, with the exception of the cricothyroid muscles. There are two recurrent laryngeal nerves, right and left. The right and left nerves are not symmetrical, with the left nerve looping under the aortic arch, and the right nerve looping under the right subclavian artery then traveling upwards. They both travel alongside of the trachea. Additionally, the nerves are one of few nerves that follow a recurrent course, moving in the opposite direction to the nerve they branch from, a fact from which they gain their name.

Thyroid cartilage largest of the nine cartilages that make up the laryngeal skeleton

The thyroid cartilage is the largest of the nine cartilages that make up the laryngeal skeleton, the cartilage structure in and around the trachea that contains the larynx. It does not completely encircle the larynx.

Cricothyroid ligament

The cricothyroid ligament is composed of two parts:

Cricothyroid muscle

The cricothyroid muscle is the only tensor muscle of the larynx aiding with phonation. It attaches to the anterolateral aspect of the cricoid and the inferior cornu and lower lamina of the thyroid cartilage, and its action tilts the thyroid forward to help tense the vocal cords. Not to be confused with the posterior cricoarytenoid muscles, which are the only muscles directly responsible for opening (abducting) the space between the vocal cords to allow for respiration.

Common carotid artery One of the two arteries that supply the head and neck with blood

In anatomy, the left and right common carotid arteries (carotids) are arteries that supply the head and neck with oxygenated blood; they divide in the neck to form the external and internal carotid arteries.

Laryngeal inlet

The laryngeal inlet is the opening that connects the pharynx and the larynx.

Inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle

The Inferior pharyngeal constrictor, the thickest of the three constrictors, arises from the sides of the cricoid and thyroid cartilage. Similarly to the superior and middle pharyngeal constrictor muscles, it is innervated by the vagus nerve, specifically, by branches from the pharyngeal plexus and by neuronal branches from the recurrent laryngeal nerve.

Pharyngeal pouch (embryology)

In the embryonic development of vertebrates, pharyngeal pouches form on the endodermal side between the pharyngeal arches. The pharyngeal grooves form the lateral ectodermal surface of the neck region to separate the arches.

Thyrohyoid membrane

The thyrohyoid membrane is a broad, fibro-elastic sheet of the larynx. It is attached below to the upper border of the thyroid cartilage and to the front of its superior cornu, and above to the upper margin of the posterior surface of the body and greater cornua of the hyoid bone, thus passing behind the posterior surface of the body of the hyoid. It is separated from the hyoid bone by a mucous bursa, which facilitates the upward movement of the larynx during swallowing.

Superior thyroid artery artery

The superior thyroid artery arises from the external carotid artery just below the level of the greater cornu of the hyoid bone and ends in the thyroid gland.

Globus pharyngis persistent but painless sensation of having a pill, food bolus, or some other sort of obstruction in the throat when there is none

Globus pharyngis or globus sensation is the persistent but painless sensation of having a pill, food bolus, or some other sort of obstruction in the throat when there is none. Swallowing is typically performed normally, so it is not a true case of dysphagia, but it can become quite irritating. It is common, with 22–45% of people experiencing it at least once in their lifetime.

Vestibular fold

The vestibular fold is one of two thick folds of mucous membrane, each enclosing a narrow band of fibrous tissue, the vestibular ligament, which is attached in front to the angle of the thyroid cartilage immediately below the attachment of the epiglottis, and behind to the antero-lateral surface of the arytenoid cartilage, a short distance above the vocal process.

Puberphonia is a functional voice disorder that is characterized by the habitual use of a high-pitched voice after puberty, hence why many refer to the disorder as resulting in a ‘falsetto’ voice. The voice may also be heard as breathy, rough, and lacking in power. The onset of puberphonia usually occurs in adolescence, between the ages of 11 and 15 years, at the same time as changes related to puberty are occurring. This disorder usually occurs in the absence of other communication disorders.

Laryngeal cysts are cysts involving the larynx or more frequently supraglottic locations, such as epiglottis and vallecula. Usually they do not extend to the thyroid cartilage. They may be present congenitally or may develop eventually due to degenerative cause. They often interfere with phonation.

Thyroplasty is a phonosurgical technique designed to improve the voice by altering the thyroid cartilage of the larynx, which houses the vocal cords in order to change the position or the length of the vocal cords.

References

  1. "Prominentia laryngea Medical Term Medical Dictionary". Medicine Online. Archived from the original on 2013-12-25. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  2. "Laringe". Sisbib.unmsm.edu.pe. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  3. P. J. Bentley (1980), "Endocrine Pharmacology: Physiological Basis and Therapeutic Applications", CUP Archive, pág 240
  4. "Pubertad, nuestras diferencias". Esmas.com. Archived from the original on 2004-09-08. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  5. Wolfort FG, Dejerine ES, Ramos DJ, Parry RG (1990). "Chondrolaryngoplasty for appearance". Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 86 (3): 464–9, discussion 470. doi:10.1097/00006534-199009000-00012. PMID   2385664.
  6. E. Cobham Brewer (1810–1897). Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898. "Adam's Apple"
  7. George Crabb (1823), "Universal technological dictionary", Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, "Pomum Ada'mi"
  8. William S. Haubrich (2003), "Medical Meanings: A Glossary of Word Origins", ACP Press, pág 5.
  9. "Adam's apple". Medicine.academic.ru. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  10. Robert B. Taylor (2008), "White Coat Tales: Medicine's Heroes, Heritage and Misadventures", Springer, pág 82.
  11. Axel Karenberg, Amor, Äskulap & Co.: klassische Mythologie in der Sprache der modernen Medizin, Schattauer, Stuttgart 2006, S. 128-129.
  12. Morris, Evan (November 2008). "Goozle « The Word Detective". The Word Detective. Retrieved 22 December 2014. If we follow 'goozle' back a bit further, we come to an interesting intersection with a far more common word, 'guzzle.'
  13. Roy Blount Jr. (29 September 2009). Alphabet Juice: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences; With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN   978-1-4299-6042-7. The Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English defines google (or goozle) as 'the throat, Adam's apple.'
  14. Roy Wilder (1 September 1998). You All Spoken Here. University of Georgia Press. p. 55. ISBN   978-0-8203-2029-8. Adam's apple; goozle; the projection formed by the thyroid cartilage in the neck.
  15. "Goozle". Directory of American Regional English. University of Wisconsin–Madison. Archived from the original on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014. gullet, windpipe, or Adam’s apple. [Varr of guzzle 1] chiefly Sth, S Midl