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 cranium. Further, it continues as the meningeal artery (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, and the pharyngotympanic tube;
- inferior tympanic artery that enters the tympanic cavity through the temporal canaliculus and supplies the medial wall of it.
The ascending pharyngeal artery provides blood supply to the muscles and mucosa of the pharynx, pharyngotympanic tube, medial wall of the tympanic cavity, and the middle cranial fossa.