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Superior Tarsal Muscle
Eye & Accessory Visual Structures

Superior Tarsal Muscle

Musculus tarsalis superior

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Structure and/or Key Feature(s)

The superior tarsal muscle is a thin layer of smooth muscle associated with the superior tarsal plate. It arises from the inferior surface of the tendon of levator palpebrae superioris muscle and extends to the superior margin of the superior tarsus. Its function is to aid in maximally widening the palpebral fissure. The tarsal muscles receive sympathetic innervation from the internal carotid plexus via the superior cervical ganglion.

Anatomical Relations

Superficial to the superior tarsal muscle is the levator palpebrae superioris muscle and tendon. A layer of connective tissue and the conjunctiva lies deep to the superior tarsal muscle.


Contraction of the superior tarsal muscle aids in elevating the upper eyelid.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Horner’s Syndrome


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