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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus III: Nervous System: Cranial Nerves and Ganglia: Oculomotor (CN III) Nerve

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

Oculomotor (CN III) Nerve

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

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

Reported variations in the oculomotor nerve involve the occurrence of unusual branches or deviations in the course of its branches. The oculomotor may give rise to a branch that supplies the lateral rectus muscle, either in addition to or replacing its usual supply from the abducens nerve, which may be absent.

It may provide a branch to the superior oblique muscle.

The oculomotor nerve has been reported to communicate with the sixth nerve (abducens) as they pass through the cavernous sinus.

The upper division of the oculomotor nerve may communicate with the nasociliary nerve. In a minor variation in the orbital course of the oculomotor nerve to the inferior oblique muscle, some of its branches pierce the inferior rectus muscle or the ciliary ganglion.

The nerve has been found perforated, near its origin, by the posterior cerebral artery.


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