Arch of cricoid cartilage anatomical variation: morphological and radiological aspects

  • Silvio Antonio Garbelotti Junior
  • Paulo Ricardo Rocha
  • Bianca Maria Liquidato
  • Sérgio Ricardo Marques
  • Luis Alfonso Arráez-Aybar
  • Luís Otávio Carvalho de Moraes
Anatomic Variations


The cricoid cartilage serves as an anatomical reference for several surgical procedures for access to the airway. Additionally, it serves as an attachment point for muscles that move the vocal folds. We present a case where the cricoid cartilage arch is divided into distinct superior and inferior arches, with a fibrous membrane between them. We did not find any similar description to this case in the literature, which makes it unique to date. This type of variation is important knowledge for clinicians and surgeons during airway management in the anterior neck region. The presence of this variation could induce an error during a palpation of the thyroid and cricoid cartilages, realized in clinical examination and surgical or emergency procedures.


Arch of cricoid cartilage Anatomical variation Magnetic resonance image Morphology 



The authors would like to express their most sincere gratitude to Professor José Carlos Prates for his invaluable contribution.

Author contributions

SAGJ: conception and design study, case analysis and manuscript writing. PRR: data collection. BML: design study and review article. SRM: data collection and interpretation of data. LAA-A: revising it critically for important intellectual content. LOCM: conception and design study, case analysis and manuscript writing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no potential conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvio Antonio Garbelotti Junior
    • 1
  • Paulo Ricardo Rocha
    • 1
  • Bianca Maria Liquidato
    • 2
  • Sérgio Ricardo Marques
    • 1
  • Luis Alfonso Arráez-Aybar
    • 3
  • Luís Otávio Carvalho de Moraes
    • 1
  1. 1.Disciplina de Anatomia Descritiva e Topográfica, Departamento de Morfologia e GenéticaUniversidade Federal de São Paulo, Escola Paulista de MedicinaSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de MorfologiaFaculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Anatomía y Embriología Humanas, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain

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