Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus III: Nervous System: Cranial Nerves and Ganglia
Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
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.
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