Pretracheal fascia

The pretracheal fascia is a portion of the structure of the human neck. It extends medially in front of the carotid vessels and assists in forming the carotid sheath.

Pretracheal fascia
Section of the neck at about the level of the sixth cervical vertebra. Showing the arrangement of the fascia coli.
LatinLamina praetrachealis fasciae cervicalis
Anatomical terminology

It is continued behind the depressor muscles of the hyoid bone, and, after enveloping the thyroid gland, is prolonged in front of the trachea to meet the corresponding layer of the opposite side. The pretracheal layer of the deep cervical fascia passes in front of the carotid sheath (i.e., common carotid artery, internal jugular vein and vagus) and in front of the cervical viscera (larynx, oesophagus and pharynx).

Above, it is fixed to the hyoid bone, while below it is carried downward in front of the trachea and large vessels at the root of the neck, and ultimately blends with the fibrous pericardium.

This layer is fused on either side with the prevertebral fascia, and with it completes the compartment containing the larynx and trachea, the thyroid gland, and the pharynx and esophagus.

It encloses the thyroid and is responsible for its movement during deglutition.

The pretracheal fascia has two components which are continuous layers of fascia. A cervical layer that ensheathes cervical viscera including the larynx/trachea, pharynx/esophagus, thyroid and parathyroid glands, and then a muscular layer which ensheathes the infrahyoid muscles.

See also


  • This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 390 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)
  • Sagittal Section Showing Deep Cervical Fascial Layers
  • Infrahyoid Cross-Section Showing Layers of Deep Cervical Fascia
  • "Anatomy diagram: 25420.000-1". Roche Lexicon - illustrated navigator. Elsevier. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01.

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