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Posterior Ethmoidal Artery
Cardiovascular System

Posterior Ethmoidal Artery

Arteria ethmoidea posterior

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Quick Facts

Origin: Ophthalmic artery.

Course: Passes within the posterior ethmoidal canal and enters the anterior cranial fossa via the posterior ethmoidal foramen.

Branches: Meningeal, septal, and lateral nasal branches.

Supplied Structures: Posterior ethmoidal cells, meninges, and nose.

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The posterior ethmoidal artery arises from the ophthalmic artery as it passes anteromedially in the orbital cavity.


The posterior ethmoidal artery passes medially a short distance and enters the posterior ethmoidal canal. It then exits the canal into the anterior cranial fossa via the posterior ethmoidal foramen, just at the posterior end of the lateral edge of the cribriform plate.


The posterior ethmoidal artery has ramifications that arise both in the posterior ethmoidal canal (extracranially) and after it emerges from the posterior ethmoidal foramen (intracranially). Additionally, its intracranial ramifications may anastomose with meningeal branches of the internal carotid artery and with the middle meningeal artery (Pamir et al, 2010).

Supplied Structures

The extracranial ramifications of the posterior ethmoidal artery supply the nasal cavity and septum, as well as the posterior ethmoidal cells. The intracranial ramifications help supply the dura mater of the medial third of the floor of the anterior cranial fossa (Pamir et al, 2010).


Pamir, M. N., Black, P. M. L. & Fahlbusch, R. (2010) Meningiomas: A Comprehensive Text. Saunders/Elsevier.

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Posterior Ethmoidal Artery

ScienceDirect image

The posterior ethmoidal artery and the ophthalmic artery branches have been found to supply the intraorbital segment of the trochlear nerve (Bartholdy, 1897;

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