Ascending pharyngeal artery

The ascending pharyngeal artery (Latin: arteria pharyngea ascendens) is a small branch of the external carotid artery that supplies the pharynx and the tympanic cavity.

The ascending pharyngeal artery arises near the origin of the external carotid, passes vertically upwards along the lateral side of the pharynx to the base of the skull. Further, it continues as the meningeal artery, which is the terminal branch of the ascending pharyngeal artery.

On its course, the ascending pharyngeal artery gives rise to two side branches:

  • pharyngeal branches that supply the muscles and mucosa of the pharynx, as well as the pharyngotympanic tube;
  • inferior tympanic artery that enters the tympanic cavity through the temporal canaliculus and supplies the medial wall of the cavity.

The ascending pharyngeal artery with its branches provides blood supply to the muscles and mucosa of the pharynx, pharyngotympanic tube, medial wall of the tympanic cavity, and the middle cranial fossa.