: Firm, rubbery tissue that cushions bones at joints. A more flexible kind of cartilage connects muscles with bones and makes up other parts of the body, such as the larynx and the outside parts of the ears.
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A connective tissue characterized by its nonvascularity and firm consistency; consists of cells (chondrocytes), an interstitial matrix of fibers (collagen), and a ground substance (proteoglycans). There are three kinds of c.: hyaline c., elastic c., and fibrocartilage. Nonvascular, resilient, flexible connective tissue found primarily in joints, the walls of the thorax, and tubular structures such as the larynx, air passages, and ears; comprises most of the skeleton in early fetal life, but is slowly replaced by bone.For gross anatomic description, see cartilago and its subentries. SYN: cartilago [TA], chondrus (1), gristle. [L. cartilago (cartilagin-), gristle]
- accessory c. a sesamoid c..
- accessory nasal cartilages [TA] variable small plates of c. located in the interval between the greater alar and lateral nasal cartilages. SYN: cartilagines nasales accessoriae [TA], sesamoid cartilages of nose.
- c. of acoustic meatus [TA] the c. that forms the wall of the lateral part of the external acoustic meatus. It is incomplete above and is firmly attached to the margins of the bony part of the external meatus. SYN: cartilago meatus acustici [TA], meatal c..
- alisphenoid c. the c. in the embryo from which the greater wing of the sphenoid bone is developed.
- anular c. SYN: cricoid c..
- arthrodial c. SYN: articular c..
- articular c. the c. covering the articular surfaces of the bones participating in a synovial joint. SYN: arthrodial c., cartilago articularis, diarthrodial c., investing c..
- arytenoid c. [TA] one of a pair of small triangular pyramidal laryngeal cartilages that articulate with the lamina of the cricoid c.. It gives attachment at its anteriorly directed vocal process to the posterior part of the corresponding vocal ligament and to several muscles at its laterally directed muscular process. The base of the c. is hyaline but the apex is elastic. SYN: cartilago arytenoidea [TA], triquetrous c. (2).
- c. of auditory tube SYN: c. of pharyngotympanic tube.
- auricular c. [TA] the c. of the auricle. SYN: cartilago auriculae [TA], c. of ear, conchal c..
- basilar c. the c. filling the foramen lacerum. SYN: basilar fibrocartilage, fibrocartilago basalis.
- branchial cartilages cartilages developing within the embryonic branchial arches; they form the cartilaginous viscerocranium. SYN: pharyngeal cartilages.
- calcified c. c. in which calcium salts are deposited in the matrix; it occurs prior to replacement by osseous tissue and sometimes in aging c..
- cellular c. an embryonic or immature stage of c. in which it consists chiefly of cells with very little matrix. SYN: parenchymatous c..
- ciliary c. incorrect term sometimes applied to the inferior and superior tarsi. See tarsus (2).
- circumferential c. 1. SYN: acetabular labrum. 2. SYN: glenoid labrum of scapula.
- conchal c. SYN: auricular c..
- connecting c. the c. in a cartilaginous joint such as the symphysis pubis. SYN: interosseous c., uniting c..
- corniculate c. [TA] a conical nodule of elastic c. surmounting the apex of each arytenoid c.. SYN: cartilago corniculata [TA], corniculum laryngis, Santorini c., supra- arytenoid c..
- costal c. [TA] the c. forming the anterior continuation of a rib, providing the means by which it reaches and articulates with the sternum. SYN: cartilago costalis [TA], costicartilage.
- cricoid c. [TA] the lowermost of the laryngeal cartilages; it is shaped like a signet ring, being expanded into a nearly quadrilateral plate (lamina) posteriorly; the anterior portion is called the arch (arcus). SYN: cartilago cricoidea [TA], anular c..
- cuneiform c. [TA] a small nonarticulating rod of elastic c. in the aryepiglottic fold anterolateral and somewhat superior to the corniculate c.. SYN: cartilago cuneiformis [TA], Morgagni c., Morgagni tubercle, Wrisberg c..
- diarthrodial c. SYN: articular c..
- c. of ear SYN: auricular c..
- elastic c. a c. in which the cells are surrounded by a territorial capsular matrix outside of which is an interterritorial matrix containing elastic fiber networks in addition to type II collagen fibers and ground substance. SYN: yellow c..
- ensiform c., ensisternum c. obsolete term for xiphoid process.
- epiglottic c. [TA] a thin lamina of elastic c. forming the central portion of the epiglottis. SYN: cartilago epiglottica [TA].
- epiphysial c. [TA] particular type of new c. produced by the epiphysis of a growing long bone; located on the epiphysial (distal) side of the zone of growth c., it is a zone of relatively quiescent chondrocytes (the resting zone) of the epiphyseal (growth) plate that unites the epiphysis with the shaft. SEE ALSO: epiphysial plate. SYN: cartilago epiphysialis [TA].
- falciform c. SYN: medial meniscus.
- floating c. a loose piece of c. within a joint cavity, detached from the articular c. or from a meniscus. SYN: loose c..
- greater alar c. SYN: major alar c..
- Huschke cartilages two horizontal cartilaginous rods at the edge of the cartilaginous septum of the nose.
- hyaline c. c. having a frosted glass appearance, with interstitial substance containing fine type II collagen fibers obscured by the ground substance; in adult c., the cells are present in isogenous groups.
- hypsiloid c. SYN: Y c..
- interosseous c. SYN: connecting c..
- intraarticular c. 1. SYN: articular disk. 2. SYN: meniscus lens.
- intrathyroid c. a narrow slip of c. sometimes found joining the laminae of the thyroid c. of the larynx in infancy.
- investing c. SYN: articular c..
- Jacobson c. SYN: vomeronasal c..
- cartilages of larynx See thyroid c., cricoid c., arytenoid c., cuneiform c., triticeal c., corniculate c., sesamoid c. of cricopharyngeal ligament, epiglottic c.. SYN: cartilagines laryngis.
- lateral c. of nose SYN: lateral process of septal nasal c..
- lesser alar cartilages SYN: minor alar c..
- loose c. SYN: floating c..
- Luschka c. a small cartilaginous nodule sometimes found in the anterior portion of the vocal cord.
- major alar c. [TA] one of a pair of cartilages that form the tip of the nose. It consists of a medial crus that extends into the nasal septum with its fellow of the opposite side, and a lateral crus that forms the anterior part of the wing of the nose. SYN: cartilago alaris major, greater alar c..
- mandibular c. a c. bar in the mandibular arch that forms a temporary supporting structure in the embryonic mandible; the cartilagenous primordia of the malleus and incus develop from its proximal end, and it also gives rise to the sphenomandibular and anterior malleolar ligaments. SYN: Meckel c..
- meatal c. SYN: c. of acoustic meatus.
- Meckel c. SYN: mandibular c..
- Meyer cartilages the anterior sesamoid cartilages at the anterior attachments of the vocal ligaments.
- minor alar c. [TA] the 2–4 cartilaginous plates of the wing of the nose posterior to the greater alar c.. SYN: accessory quadrate c., cartilagines alares minores, lesser alar cartilages.
- Morgagni c. SYN: cuneiform c..
- nasal septal c. SYN: septal nasal c..
- c. of nasal septum SYN: septal nasal c..
- cartilages of nose See lateral process of septal nasal c., major alar c., septal nasal c., vomeronasal c., minor alar c., accessory nasal cartilages. SYN: cartilagines nasi.
- ossifying c. SYN: temporary c..
- parachordal c. c. primordia adjacent on either side to the cephalic portion of the notochord in young embryos; they represent an initial step in the formation of the chondrocranium.
- paraseptal c. SYN: vomeronasal c..
- parenchymatous c. SYN: cellular c..
- periotic c. a cartilaginous mass on either side of the chondrocranium surrounding the developing auditory vesicle in the fetus; the otic capsule in its early cartilaginous stage.
- permanent c. c. that is not replaced by bone.
- pharyngeal cartilages SYN: branchial cartilages.
- c. of pharyngotympanic tube [TA] the trough-shaped c. that forms the medial wall, roof, and part of the lateral wall of the pharyngotympanic tube. SYN: cartilago tubae auditivae [TA], c. of auditory tube, tubal c..
- precursory c. SYN: temporary c..
- primordial c. c. in an early stage in its development.
- quadrangular c. SYN: septal nasal c..
- Reichert c. a c. in the mesenchyme of the second branchial arch in the embryo, from which develop the stapes, the styloid processes, the stylohyoid ligaments, and the lesser cornua of the hyoid bone.
- reticular c., retiform c. rarely used terms for fibrocartilage.
- Santorini c. SYN: corniculate c..
- Seiler c. a small rod of c. attached to the vocal process of the arytenoid c..
- semilunar c. one of the articular menisci of the knee joint. See lateral meniscus, medial meniscus.
- septal c. SYN: septal nasal c..
- septal nasal c. [TA] a thin cartilaginous plate located between vomer, perpendicular plate of the ethmoid, and nasal bones, and completing the nasal septum anteriorly. SYN: cartilago septi nasi [TA], c. of nasal septum, cartilaginous septum, nasal septal c., pars cartilaginea septi nasi, quadrangular c., septal c..
- sesamoid c. of cricopharyngeal ligament [TA] a small nodule of elastic c. sometimes present on the lateral border of the arytenoid c.. SYN: cartilago sesamoidea ligamentum cricopharyngeum [TA], cartilago sesamoidea laryngis, sesamoid c. of larynx.
- sesamoid cartilages of nose SYN: accessory nasal cartilages.
- slipping rib c. subluxation of rib c., at the costo-chondral junction, causing pain and audible click.
- sternal c. a costal c. of one of the true ribs.
- tarsal c. incorrect term sometimes applied to the inferior tarsus and superior tarsus. See tarsus (2).
- temporary c. a c. that is normally replaced by bone, to form a part of the skeleton. SYN: ossifying c., precursory c..
- thyroid c. [TA] the largest of the cartilages of the larynx; it is formed of two approximately quadrilateral plates (laminae) joined anteriorly at an angle of from 90–20°, the prominence so formed constituting the laryngeal prominence (Adam's apple). SYN: cartilago thyroidea [TA].
- tracheal cartilages [TA] the 16–20 incomplete rings of hyaline c. forming the skeleton of the trachea; the rings are deficient posteriorly for from one-fifth to one-third of their circumference. SYN: cartilagines tracheales [TA], tracheal ring.
- triangular c. SYN: articular disk of distal radioulnar joint.
- triquetrous c. 1. SYN: articular disk of distal radioulnar joint. 2. SYN: arytenoid c..
- triticeal c. [TA] a rounded nodule of c., the size of a grain of wheat, occasionally present in the posterior margin of the lateral thyrohyroid ligament. SYN: cartilago triticea [TA], corpus triticeum, triticeum.
- tubal c. SYN: c. of pharyngotympanic tube.
- uniting c. SYN: connecting c..
- vomerine c. SYN: vomeronasal c..
- vomeronasal c. [TA] a narrow strip of c. located between the lower edge of the c. of the nasal septum and the vomer. SYN: cartilago vomeronasalis [TA], Jacobson c., paraseptal c., vomer cartilagineus, vomerine c..
- Wrisberg c. SYN: cuneiform c..
- xiphoid c. SYN: xiphoid process.
- Y c., Y-shaped c. the connecting c. for the ilium, ischium, and pubis; it extends through the acetabulum. SYN: hypsiloid c..
- yellow c. SYN: elastic c..

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car·ti·lage 'kärt-əl-ij, 'kärt-lij n
1) a usu. translucent somewhat elastic tissue that composes most of the skeleton of vertebrate embryos and except for a small number of structures (as some joints, respiratory passages, and the external ear) is replaced by bone during ossification in the higher vertebrates
2) a part or structure composed of cartilage

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a dense connective tissue composed of a matrix produced by cells called chondroblasts, which become embedded in the matrix as chondrocytes. It is a semiopaque grey or white substance, consisting chiefly of chondroitin sulphate, that is capable of withstanding considerable pressure. There are three types: hyaline cartilage, elastic cartilage, and fibrocartilage. In the fetus and infant cartilage occurs in many parts of the body, but most of this cartilage disappears during development. In the adult, hyaline cartilage is found in the costal cartilages, larynx, trachea, bronchi, nose, and covering the surface of bones at joints, where wear and damage results in osteoarthritis. Elastic cartilage occurs in the external ear, and fibrocartilage in the intervertebral discs and tendons. Cartilage is the precursor of bone following a fracture (see callus).

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car·ti·lage (kahrґtĭ-ləj) [L. cartilago] a specialized, fibrous connective tissue, forming most of the temporary skeleton of the embryo, providing a model in which most of the bones develop, and constituting an important part of the growth mechanism of the organism. It exists in several types, the most important of which are hyaline cartilage, elastic cartilage, and fibrocartilage. Also used as a general term to designate a mass of such tissue in a particular site in the body. See cartilago.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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