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Abducens Nerve
Nervous System

Abducens Nerve

Nervus abducens

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Quick Facts

Origin: Ventral surface of the pons.

Course: Runs anteriorly through the dura, into the cavernous sinus, through the superior orbital fissure, and into the orbit.

Branches: None.

Supply: Motor innervation to the lateral rectus muscle.

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Origin

The abducent nerve originates in the abducens nucleus of the pons. It emerges along the ventral surface of the pons, slightly lateral to the midline and just anterior to the pontomedullary junction.

Course

The abducent nerve runs anteriorly and superiorly from its origin near the pontomedullary junction, piercing the dura to enter the cavernous sinus. Within the sinus, it runs anteriorly with the oculomotor, trochlear, and ophthalmic nerves, passing into the orbit via the superior orbital fissure. Within the orbit, the abducent nerve passes through the common tendinous ring of extraocular muscles. It runs inferior to the optic nerve, heading laterally to innervate the deep surface of the lateral rectus muscle.

Branches

There are no named branches.

Supplied Structures

The abducent nerve is a motor nerve. It supplies somatic motor innervation to the lateral rectus muscle of the eye.

List of Clinical Correlates

—Diplopia

—Strabismus

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Abducens Nerve

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Damage to the abducens nerve results in paralysis of the lateral rectus muscle;

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Anatomy of the oculomotor (CN III), trochlear (CN IV) and abducens (CN VI) nerves

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Anatomy of the oculomotor (CN III), trochlear (CN IV) and abducens (CN VI) nerves Videos, Flashcards, High Yield Notes, & Practice Questions. Learn and reinforce your understanding of Anatomy of the oculomotor (CN III), trochlear (CN IV) and abducens (CN VI) nerves.

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Complete Anatomy

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Complete Anatomy