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Orbital Branches of Maxillary Nerve
Nervous System

Orbital Branches of Maxillary Nerve

Rami orbitales nervi maxillaris

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Quick Facts

Origin: Pterygopalatine ganglion.

Course: Run superiorly and anteriorly into the posterior part of the orbit by passing through the inferior orbital fissure. They spread out along the posterior periosteum and the apex of the orbit.

Branches: None.

Supply: Convey general sensory information from the periorbital fascia of the orbit.

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Origin

The orbital branches of the maxillary nerve branch from the pterygopalatine ganglion.

Course

The orbital branches of the maxillary nerve ascend and travel anteriorly through the inferior orbital fissure to enter the orbit. They run along the periorbital fascia posteriorly towards the apex of the orbit, forming a loose plexus with sympathetic fibers from the ophthalmic artery.

Branches

There are no named branches.

Supplied Structures

The orbital branches of the maxillary nerve are primarily considered to be sensory in nature, although evidence of a parasympathetic contribution exists.

The sensory fibers convey general sensory information from the periorbital fascia.

Parasympathetic fibers originating in the pterygopalatine ganglion run into the orbit via the orbital branches of the maxillary nerve. They form a plexus near the apex of the periorbital fascia with sympathetic fibers that arrive via the ophthalmic vasculature (Ruskell, 1970; Ebbeling et al., 2012).

References

Ebbeling, M. B., Oomen, K. P., de Ru, J. A., Hordijk, G. J. & Bleys, R. L. (2012) Neurochemical characterization of pterygopalatine ganglion branches in humans. Am J Rhinol Allergy, 26(1), e40-5.

Ruskell, G. L. (1970) The orbital branches of the pterygopalatine ganglion and their relationship with internal carotid nerve branches in primates. Journal of anatomy, 106(Pt 2), 323-339.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Maxillary Nerve

ScienceDirect image

The maxillary nerve, or second division of the trigeminal, is a sensory nerve that crosses the pterygopalatine fossa, traverses the orbit in the infraorbital groove and canal in the floor of the orbit, and appears upon the face at the infraorbital foramen as the infraorbital nerve.

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