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Nasociliary nerve

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Nerve: Nasociliary nerve
Nerves of the orbit, and the ciliary ganglion. Side view.
Latin n. nasociliaris
Gray's subject #200 888
From Ophthalmic nerve
To long root of the ciliary ganglion, the long ciliary nerves, the infratrochlear nerve, and the ethmoidal nerves
MeSH [1]

The Nasociliary Nerve (nasal nerve) is intermediate in size between the frontal and lacrimal, and is more deeply placed.


It enters the orbit between the two heads of the Rectus lateralis, and between the superior and inferior rami of the oculomotor nerve.

It passes across the optic nerve and runs obliquely beneath the Rectus superior and Obliquus superior, to the medial wall of the orbital cavity.

Here it passes through the anterior ethmoidal foramen, and, entering the cavity of the cranium, traverses a shallow groove on the lateral margin of the front part of the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone, and runs down, through a slit at the side of the crista galli, into the nasal cavity.

It supplies internal nasal branches to the mucous membrane of the front part of the septum and lateral wall of the nasal cavity.

Finally, it emerges, as the external nasal branch, between the lower border of the nasal bone and the lateral nasal cartilage, and, passing down beneath the Nasalis muscle, supplies the skin of the ala and apex of the nose.


The nasociliary nerve gives off the following branches, viz.: the long root of the ciliary ganglion, the long ciliary nerves, the infratrochlear nerve, and the ethmoidal nerves.

External links

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.

Major nerves (also see Peripheral nervous system)

Cranial nerves: I olfactory | II optic | III oculomotor | IV trochlear | V trigeminal | V1 ophthalmic (lacrimal, frontal, supratrochlear, supraorbital, nasociliary, ciliary ganglion) | V2 maxillary (sphenopalatine ganglion) | V3 mandibular (buccal - auriculotemporal - lingual - inferior alveolar - otic ganglion) | VI abducens | VII facial (chorda tympani, nervus intermedius) | VIII vestibulocochlear (cochlear, vestibular) | IX glossopharyngeal | X vagus (recurrent laryngeal, Alderman's nerve) | XI accessory | XII hypoglossal

Posterior spinal nerves: greater occipital

C1-C4 - Cervical plexus: lesser occipital | greater auricular | lesser auricular | phrenic | ansa cervicalis

C5-C8, T1 - Brachial plexus: supraclavicular branches (dorsal scapular, suprascapular, long thoracic) | lateral cord (musculocutaneous, lateral antibrachial cutaneous, lateral head of median nerve) | medial cord (ulnar, medial head of median nerve, medial antibrachial cutaneous, medial brachial cutaneous) | posterior cord (axillary, radial)

T2-T11: intercostal

T12, L1-L5 - Lumbar plexus: iliohypogastric | ilioinguinal | genitofemoral | lateral femoral cutaneous | femoral | obturator

S1-S4 - Sacral plexus: gluteal | posterior femoral cutaneous | tibial | sciatic | sural | common peroneal

S2-S5 - Pudendal plexus: perforating cutaneous | pudendal | visceral | muscular | anococcygeal

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