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Superior Branch of Oculomotor Nerve
Nervous System

Superior Branch of Oculomotor Nerve

Ramus superior nervi oculomotorii

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Quick Facts

Origin: Oculomotor nerve.

Course: Runs superiorly and anteriorly from the common tendinous ring to the deep surfaces of its target muscles.

Branches: None.

Supply: Superior rectus and levator palpebrae superioris muscles.

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Origin

The superior branch of the oculomotor nerve typically originates as a branch of the oculomotor nerve in or just anterior to the tendinous ring of the extraocular muscles of the eye.

Course

From its origin, the superior branch of the oculomotor nerve runs anteriorly and superiorly, just lateral to the optic nerve. It continues in this direction until it reaches the deep surface of its target muscles and terminates.

Branches

There are no named branches. The superior branch of the oculomotor nerve splits ramifies in the superior rectus and the levator palpebrae superioris muscles.

Supplied Structures

The superior branch of the oculomotor nerve is a motor nerve supplying somatic motor innervation to the superior rectus muscle (which primarily elevates the eye, although it also causes intorsion and adduction) and the levator palpebrae superioris muscle (which elevates the upper eyelid).

List of Clinical Correlates

—Ptosis

—Diplopia

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Oculomotor Nerve

ScienceDirect image

As the oculomotor nerve exits the midbrain, the parasympathetic fibers are superficial, and as the nerve nears the orbit, the parasympathetic fibers move into the center of the nerve and therefore are better protected in compressive lesions.

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