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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus I: Muscular System: Alphabetical Listing of Muscles: O: Obliquus Superior (Superior Oblique) (Orbitalis)

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus I: Muscular System: Alphabetical Listing of Muscles: O

Obliquus Superior (Superior Oblique) (Orbitalis)

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

Reported variations are few. LeDouble referred to a case reported by Colombo but he questioned its veracity.

Whitnall reported a doubled muscle and Morgagni found a fusion with the muscles trochlea. Clinicians report the complete absence of the muscle and LeDouble cited accessory slips.

The superior oblique may be closely accompanied by an offshoot from the levator palpebrae superioris, the comes obliqui superioris (Albinus) or gracillimus orbitis (Henle).

The transversus orbitae (Bochdalek) is an arched slip of muscle fibers passing from the orbital plate of the ethmoid bone across the upper surface of the eyeball to the outer wall of the orbit. Strangeways, when dissecting the muscles of the eyeball of an Ass (note, an Equine) found a small but well-defined muscle situated between the superior and inferior oblique muscles. The muscle originated from a minute depression in the orbital plate of the frontal bone. The belly of the muscle became loosely attached to the upper part of the superior oblique and inserted by blending with the tendon of superior oblique.

Syn.: m. trochlearis.


Anson, B.J., Ed. (1966) 12th ed., Morris' Human Anatomy. The Blakiston Division, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

Bochdalek, Jr. (1868) Beitrag zu den anomalen Muskel in der Augenhöle. Vrtljschr. f. d. Prakt., Prag., 4:

Budge, J. (1859) Beschreibung eines neuen Muskels und mehrerer Muskel- und Knochenvarietäten. Zeitschrift für Rat. Med. 3:273-278.

Fleischer, B. (1907) Musculus retractor bulbi und drittes Lid bei einer menschlichen Missbildung. Anat. Anz. 30:465-470.

Henle, J. (1873) Sinnesapparate., in Handbuch der systematischen Anatomie des Menschen. Verlag von Friedrich Vieweg und Sohn, Braunschweig.

Isomura, G. (1977) Nerve supply for anomalous ocular muscles in man. Anat. Anz. 142:255-265.

LeDouble, A.F. (1897) Traité des Variations du Système Musculaire de l'Homme et Leur Signification au Point de l'Anthropologie Zoologique. Libraire C. Reinwald, Schleicher Freres, Paris.

Macalister, A., (1875) Observations on muscular anomalies in the human anatomy. Third series with a catalogue of the principal variations hitherto published. Trans. Roy. Irish Acad. Sci. 25:1-130.

MacEwen, E.M. (1930) Orbital variations. Anat. Rec. 46:223-232.

Whitnall, S.E. (1921) Some abnormal muscles of the orbita. Anat. Rec. 21:143-152.

Whitnall, S.E. (1923) The Anatomy of the Human Orbit., 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, London.

Wolff, E. The Anatomy of the Eye and Orbit., 4th ed. Lewis, London.

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