Synovial tissue morphology of the cricoarytenoid joint in the elderly: A histological comparison with the cricothyroid joint

Sakura Katsumura, Masahito Yamamoto, Kei Kitamura, Masaaki Kasahara, Yukio Katori, Shin Ichi Abe

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3 Citations (Scopus)


We compared the age-related morphology of the cricothyroid (CT) joint with that of the cricoarytenoid (CA) joint using 18 specimens from elderly cadavers in terms of their elastic fiber contents as well as the cells composing the joint capsule and synovial tissues. In contrast to an almost flat-flat interface in the CT joint, the CA joint was similar to a saddle joint. The CA joint capsule was thin and contained few elastic fibers, and in contrast to the CT joint, external fibrous tissues were not exposed to the joint cavity, there being no injury to the CA joint capsule. The lateral and posterior aspects of the CA joint were covered by the lateral and posterior CA muscles, respectively, and the fascia of the latter muscle was sometimes thick with abundant elastic fibers. However, due to possible muscle degeneration, loose connective tissue was often interposed between the fascia and the capsule. The medial and anterior aspects of the CA joint faced loose tissue that was continuous with the laryngeal submucosal tissue. Therefore, in contrast to the CT joint, a definite supporting ligament was usually absent in the CA joint. Synovial folds were always seen in the CA joint, comprising a short triangular mass on the posterior side and long laminar folds on the anterior side. The synovial folds usually contained multiple capillaries and a few CD68-positive macrophages. High congruity of the CA joint surfaces as well as strong muscle support to the arytenoid cartilage appeared to provide the specific synovial morphology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalAnatomy and Cell Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 1


  • Cricoarytenoid joint
  • Elastic tissue
  • Morphology
  • Synovial fold


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