Triticeal cartilage: the forgotten cartilage

Surg Radiol Anat. 2017 Oct;39(10):1135-1141. doi: 10.1007/s00276-017-1841-z. Epub 2017 Mar 17.


Introduction: The triticeal cartilage (TC) is a small cartilage found within the thyrohyoid membrane. The TC has a variable prevalence between and within individuals. It has been suggested that absence of a TC results from its failure to separate from the superior horn of the thyroid cartilage (SHTC) and that individuals without a TC will have a longer SHTC. This study aims to identify the prevalence of the TC and investigate the relationship between the length of the SHTC and presence of a TC.

Methods: Eighty seven adult cadavers underwent dissection. Data were collected on presence or absence of a TC and lengths of SHTC.

Results: A TC was identified in 28 cadavers (33%). In cadavers with a unilateral TC, there was no significant difference between the lengths of the SHTC on sides with a TC (1.6 mm, ±SEM 0.12 mm) to sides without a TC (1.7 mm, ±SEM 0.10 mm) (P = 0.47). In cadavers with no TCs, the length of the SHTCs (1.8 mm, ±SEM 0.04 mm) was significantly longer than the SHTCs of cadavers with a TC present bilaterally (1.4 mm, ±SEM 0.12 mm) (P = 0.02).

Conclusions: A TC was found in 33% of cadavers. This study demonstrates a relationship between the presence of a TC and the length of the SHTC only in cadavers with a TC present or absent bilaterally.

Keywords: Anatomy; Hyoid; Larynx; Thyrohyoid; Triticeal.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cadaver
  • Dissection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thyroid Cartilage / anatomy & histology*