Anatomy Atlases(tm) : A digital library of anatomy information

Home | About | FAQ | Reviews | Search

Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus III: Nervous System: Cranial Nerves and Ganglia: Ciliary Ganglion

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus III: Nervous System: Cranial Nerves and Ganglia

Ciliary Ganglion

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

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

This ganglion contains preganglionic nerves and postganglionic neurons of the oculomotor nerve.

The following variations in the size and roots of this ganglion has been reported. It may be absent or very small (grossly identifiable), in which case its constituent neurons are scattered among the nerve fibers associated with the ganglion (oculomotor and the ophthalmic division of the trigeminal).

The ganglion may be doubled or even tripled.

The motor root (branch of the oculomotor nerve to the inferior oblique muscle) sometimes bifurcates before reaching the ganglion.

The sympathetic root may enter the ganglion separately or as part of the sensory root, or it may accompany the oculomotor nerve.

Additional roots entering the ganglion have been described: these arise from the superior division of the oculomotor, trochlear, lacrimal, and abducens nerves, and from the pterygopalatine ganglion.

The sensory root (branch of the ophthalmic nerve) may (a) be absent or multiple, in which case the sensory fibers from the nasociliary nerve are probably carried by the long ciliary nerves to the eyeball; or (b) arise directly from the semilunar (trigeminal) ganglion, the trunk of the ophthalmic nerve, or the supraorbital or lacrimal nerves. There may be one or more accessory ganglia; e.g., an accessory ganglion has been found on the medial side of the optic nerve.

The ciliary ganglion has been found perforated by a ciliary artery.


Anson, B.J. (1950) Atlas of Human Anatomy, W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia.

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

Gardiner, E., Gray, D.J. and R. O'Rahilly. (1969) Anatomy, 3rd ed., W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia.

Huber, G.C. (1930) Piersol's Human Anatomy, 9th ed., L.B. Lippincott. Philadelphia.

Kopsch, F. (1908) Rauber's Lehrbuch der Anatomie des Menschen., Georg Thieme, Leipzig.

Pitres, A. et L. Testut. (1925) Le Nerfs en Schema. G. Doin & Cie., Paris.

Whitnall, S.E. (1932) The Anatomy of the Human Orbit, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, London.

Section Top | Title Page

Home | About Us | FAQ | Reviews | Contact Us | Search

Anatomy Atlases is curated by Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. and Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D.

Please send us comments by filling out our Comment Form.

All contents copyright © 1995-2018 the Author(s) and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. All rights reserved.

"Anatomy Atlases", the Anatomy Atlases logo, and "A digital library of anatomy information" are all Trademarks of Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.

Anatomy Atlases is funded in whole by Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. Advertising is not accepted.

Your personal information remains confidential and is not sold, leased, or given to any third party be they reliable or not.

The information contained in Anatomy Atlases is not a substitute for the medical care and advice of your physician. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.