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Ophthalmic Artery
Cardiovascular System

Ophthalmic Artery

Arteria ophthalmica

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Quick Facts

Origin: Internal carotid artery.

Course: Enters the orbit and travels along the medial wall between the superior oblique and medial rectus muscles.

Branches: Lacrimal, supraorbital, ciliary, muscular, posterior ethmoidal, anterior ethmoidal, palpebral, supratrochlear, and external nasal arteries, central artery of retina, recurrent meningeal branch.

Supplied Structures: Eyeball, orbit, facial structures.

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The ophthalmic artery arises from the cerebral part of the internal carotid artery, just as it exits the cavernous sinus.


The ophthalmic artery enters the orbit, inferolateral to the optic nerve, via the optic canal and lies within the common tendinous ring. It continuous anteriorly briefly, before passing medially and crosses over the optic nerve. The ophthalmic artery continues along the medial wall of the orbit, passing between the superior oblique and medial rectus muscles.


The branches of the ophthalmic artery include the central retinal artery, lacrimal artery, muscular branches, long and short ciliary arteries, supraorbital arteries, posterior and anterior ethmoidal arteries, medial palpebral arteries, and the terminal supratrochlear and external (dorsal) nasal arteries.

Supplied Structures

The ophthalmic artery supplies many structures including the eyeball, structures of the orbit, and adjacent facial structures.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Ophthalmic Artery

ScienceDirect image

The second segment of the ophthalmic artery is defined as the length of artery that crosses the optic nerve from lateral to medial.

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