Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Publish with us
Lacrimal Artery
Cardiovascular System

Lacrimal Artery

Arteria lacrimalis

Read more

Quick Facts

Origin: Ophthalmic artery.

Course: Traverses anteriorly in the orbital cavity above the lateral rectus muscle.

Branches: Lateral palpebral arteries, anastomotic branch with middle meningeal artery.

Supplied Structures: Lacrimal gland, superior and inferior eyelids, and conjunctiva.

Complete Anatomy
The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform
Try it for Free


The lacrimal artery is one of the largest branches arising from the ophthalmic artery. It usually arises within the orbital cavity, close to the optic foramen. However, occasionally, it may arise before the ophthalmic artery enters the orbital cavity.


The lacrimal artery accompanies the lacrimal nerve along the superior surface of the lateral rectus muscle to reach the lacrimal gland. Here, it supplies the gland. It ends in the conjunctiva and the lateral sides of both the upper and lower eyelids and the lateral palpebral arteries.


After the lacrimal artery reaches the lacrimal gland, it continues anteriorly as the lateral palpebral arteries, which supply the eyelids and conjunctiva.

The lacrimal artery gives off an anastomotic branch with the middle meningeal artery. This recurrent meningeal branch passes backwards through the lateral aspect of the superior orbital fissure to anastomose with a branch of the middle meningeal artery (Dorland, 2011).

Supplied Structures

The lacrimal artery provides a blood supply primarily to the lacrimal gland. Indirectly, it supplies the eyelids and conjunctiva via the lateral palpebral arteries.


Dorland, W. (2011) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd edn. Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier Saunders.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products


ScienceDirect image

Arteries are vessels transporting blood between heart, tissues, and other organs in order to supply them with nutrition and oxygen.

Explore on ScienceDirectopens in new tab/window

Complete Anatomy

The world's most advanced 3D anatomy platform

Complete Anatomy