Introduction: The patency of pharynx largely depends on its muscular character. Apart from the three constrictor and three longitudinal muscles there are various supernumerary muscles in the pharynx. The present study was planned to provide an anatomical insight into one of the supernumerary muscles-the petropharyngeus.
Materials and methods: The posterior pharyngeal walls were exposed in 44 cadaveric heads and examined for presence of the supernumerary muscle; petropharyngeus. The relationship of the glossopharyngeal nerve in relation to the stylopharyngeus was also examined.
Results: Three cases (7%) presented with petropharyngeus. Two out of these three presented as a muscular entity while in one case it was fibromuscular. 57% cases presented with the glossopharyngeal nerve running along the inferior border of the stylopharyngeus.
Conclusion: The petropharyngeus has an undetermined role in pharyngeal function. The accurate knowledge of this supernumerary muscle can prove useful for the pharyngeal interventionists and utilizing it for the benefit of clinical cases.