Anatomy of the Head and Neck

  • Course Information
  • Vasculature and Lymphatics
  • Innervation
  • Muscles
    • Muscles of the Neck
      30 min
  • Regions and Spaces of the Head
    • Infratemporal Fossa
      30 min
  • Nasal Cavity & Paranasal Air Sinuses
  • Oral Region
  • Pharynx and Esophagus
  • Layers, Regions and Triangles of the Neck
    • Muscles of the Neck
      30 min
  • Larynx, Trachea, and Thyroid Gland

Debrecen University Study Guide

The following is offered as a suggestion; we are not affiliated, associated, authorized, approved, endorsed by or in any way officially connected to Debrecen University.

How to study?

During the semester

We highly recommend studying the lessons by the order they are taught in your class (or bulletin) or follow the presented default order on the sidebar.

Towards your exam(s)

Once you’ve covered the material at least once, you should start preparing for your exam according to the recommendations written below and make sure you know what’s covered in each topic and how to present it.

If you haven’t covered the material yet and you are studying for the exam, we highly recommend starting by following the default order on the sidebar, finishing it, and only then going through the topic list; although covering the material by topic-by-topic may seem like the way to go, it will just confuse you in the long-run.


The following is based on the official bulletin of the university according to the publication of September 2019.

These lists are only recommendations given by the department — thus, it doesn’t guarantee that all of them (if any) will be taught in that specific order.
Always ask your teachers and professors regarding the order and prepare accordingly, since they are the only ones who can tell you exactly what will be taught and when.

1st week

  1. Cutaneous branches of the trigeminal nerve
  2. Branches of the facial nerve on the face and neck
  3. Facial, superficial temporal and external carotid arteries
  4. Retromandibular vein and superficial veins (ext. jugular vein)
  5. Parotid gland and parotid duct
  6. Lymph nodes and lymphatic drainage of head and neck
  7. Cutaneous branches of the cervical plexus
  8. The position of the hyoid bone, thyroid cartilage
  9. Thyroid gland
  10. The carotid sheath (vagina vasorum) and its structures
  11. The site of cricothyrotomy
  12. Surface projection of the apex of the lungs
  13. Relations of the scalene muscles
  14. The topography of the parotid gland. Nerves and blood vessels related to the parotid gland
  15. Frontal and temporal regions
  16. Triangles of the neck
  17. Supraclavicular triangle

2nd week

  1. Submandibular triangle
  2. Carotid triangle and the middle part of the neck
  3. Lateral lingual sulcus
  4. Muscles of the floor of the mouth
  5. The topography of the salivary glands
  6. The scalenotracheal fossa
  7. Branches of the subclavian artery

3rd week

  1. Retromandibular fossa
  2. Muscles of the soft palate
  3. Nucheal region
  4. Suboccipital triangle
  5. Pharynx

4th week

  1. Pharynx
  2. Isthmus of the fauces
  3. Tongue
  4. Parapharyngeal space
  5. Retropharyngeal space
  6. Larynx
  7. Tonsils


The exam is an oral exam during which you will pick a combination of topics from each block (head and neck, thorax, abdomen, and pelvis and perineum), and present it to the examiner.

The topics are divided according to the following scheme:

  • Regional anatomy: For these topics, you are required to describe AND identify the borders, layers, and structures for the respective region
  • Theoretical questions: These topics refer to materials which are difficult/impossible to show on gross anatomy specimens, e.g. autonomic innervation, lymphatic drainage, surface projections, or radiographic anatomy
  • Viscera: For these topics, you will have to describe AND demonstrate the anatomy of internal organs
  • Blood vessels, nerves, bones or muscles: For these topics, you will have to describe AND demonstrate the structures included in the topic

You will have a few minutes (or more, depending on the number of students) to prepare a short presentation.


Our lessons are written in the same way as you would present it during an oral, or an essay type of exam:

  1. Definition (“what?” — the subject/structure/organ/function you are being asked on)
  2. Description (“how?” — a short explanation describing the functions and main features)
  3. Specific features, if applicable:
    1. Parts/divisions
    2. Borders
    3. Contents
    4. Syntopy
    5. Clinical correlations

In an oral exam, during your presentation, mention the main points without going in-depth, to leave a place for questions.

Tips for an oral exam

Your examiner may ask you questions to which you already have prepared an answer. Take your time and don’t ping off an answer straight away. Prepare a complete sentence in your head, and then give your answer.

If you are not sure about your answer, it’s better to try (as long as you’re not completely wrong) than say “I don’t know”. Give an explanation to your reasoning; in many cases, the examiner will at least partially accept it.


Classification # Topic title Lesson
Regional anatomy 1 Frontal and temporal regions Frontal and Temporal Regions
2 Buccal, infraorbital and nasal regions Buccal, Infraorbital, and Nasal Region
3 Parotideomasseteric region. Borders of the parotid nest Parotidomasseteric Region
4 Borders and structures of the scalenotracheal fossa. Cervical part of the sympathetic trunk Scalenotracheal Fossa, Cervical Sympathetic Trunks
5 Muscles of the neck. Cervical triangles (without their structures) Muscles of the Neck, Triangles of the Neck — Introduction
6 Borders and structures of the submandibular triangle. Submandibular gland Anterior Triangle, Salivary Glands
7 Borders and structures of the lateral lingual groove Muscles of the Tongue
8 Borders and structures of the carotid triangle Anterior Triangle
9 Walls and connections of the oral cavity. Layers and connections of the floor of the mouth. Parts of the palate Oral Cavity, Muscles of the Soft Palate
10 Borders and connections of the infratemporal and pterygopalatine fossae Infratemporal Fossa, Pterygopalatine Fossa
11 Structures in the infratemporal fossa Infratemporal Fossa
12 Walls and connections of the nasal cavity. Paranasal sinuses Nasal Cavity, Paranasal Air Sinuses
13 Borders and connections of the para- and retropharyngeal spaces Parapharyngeal Space, Retropharyngeal Space
14 Borders and structures of the supraclavicular triangle Posterior Triangle (Lateral Cervical Region)
15 Borders and structures of the median cervical region. Thyroid gland Anterior Triangle, Thyroid Gland
16 Nuchal region Nuchal Region
17 The cervical part of the trachea and esophagus, and structures running around them Trachea, Esophagus, Deep Fascia of the Neck
Theoretical questions 18 Structures in the pterygopalatine fossa Pterygopalatine Fossa
19 Vasculature and innervation of the teeth, gingiva, and palate Oral Cavity, Teeth
20 Lymphatic drainage of the head and neck region Lymphatics
21 Autonomic innervation of the head and neck Cervical Sympathetic Trunks, Parasympathetic Ganglia, CN X — Vagus Nerve
22 Radiographic anatomy of the nasal and oral cavities and the paranasal sinuses Nasal Cavity, Paranasal Air Sinuses
23 Radiographic anatomy of the infratemporal fossa and the parapharyngeal space (suprahyoid neck) Infratemporal Fossa, Parapharyngeal Space
24 Radiographic anatomy of the infrahyoid neck Lessons discussing the neck (?)
Viscera 25 Common, external and internal (without the intracranial branches) carotid arteries Blood Supply, External Carotid Artery, Internal Carotid Artery, Carotid Body and Sinus
26 Cervical plexus and its innervation area. Main branches of the brachial plexus (until the cords) Cervical Plexus, Brachial Plexus
27 Divisions and branches of the subclavian artery Blood Supply
28 The topography of the vessels for checking the pulse, compression points and sites of intravenous cannulation in the regions of the head and neck. Venous drainage of the head and neck region Blood Supply, Venous Drainage
29 Demonstration of the branches and innervation area of the trigeminal nerve CN V – Trigeminal Nerve
30 Demonstration of the branches and innervation area of the facial nerve CN VII – Facial Nerve
31 Demonstration of the branches and innervation area of the glossopharyngeal and hypoglossal nerves CN IX — Glossopharyngeal Nerve, CN XII — Hypoglossal Nerve
32 Muscles of facial expression and their innervation Muscles of Facial Expression, CN VII — Facial Nerve
33 Structures in the para- and retropharyngeal spaces Parapharyngeal Space, Retropharyngeal Space
34 Demonstration of the branches and innervation area of the vagus (in the head and neck region only) and accessory nerves CN X — Vagus
35 Muscles acting on the temporomandibular joint and their innervation Muscles of Mastication
Neurovasculature, bones, and muscles 36 Blood supply and innervation of the parotid gland. Structures passing through the parotid gland Salivary Glands
37 Parts, blood supply and innervation of the tongue. Tonsillar fossa. Tonsils Tongue, Muscles of the Tongue, Waldeyer’s Tonsillar Ring
38 Structure of the wall of the pharynx. Blood supply and innervation of the pharynx Pharynx, Muscles of the Pharynx
39 Parts, cavities, and connections of the pharynx Pharynx
40 Joints and cartilages of the larynx. Cavity of the larynx Laryngeal Membranes, Ligaments, and FoldsLarynx — Introduction
41 Muscles, blood supply and innervation of the larynx. Function of the laryngeal muscles Larynx — NeurovasculatureMuscles of the Larynx
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