Fossa of Rosenmüller

The fossa of Rosenmüller, also known as the posterolateral pharyngeal recess, is the most common site of origin for nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

It is located superior and posterior to the torus tubarius (the posterior projection of the cartilaginous portion of the Eustachian tube) and is formed by mucosal reflection over the longus colli muscle 2. The fossa of Rosenmüller appears posterior and superior to the ostium of the Eustachian tube on axial and coronal images respectively 3.

The pharyngeal recesses may be asymmetrical and contain fluid.

Named after Johann Christian Rosenmüller (1771-1820), a German anatomist.

Anatomy: Head and neck

Anatomy: Head and neck

Article information

rID: 1353
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Fossa of Rosenmuller
  • Pharyngeal recess
  • Lateral pharyngeal recess
  • Lateral nasopharyngeal recess

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: normal fossa of Rosenmuller
    Drag here to reorder.
  • <br />
    Case 2: nasopharyngeal carcinoma
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.