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

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

Trochlear (CN IV) Nerve

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

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

Variations in the branches and orbital course of the trochlear nerve have been described.

The nerve has been reported to send a branch to M. orbicularis palpebrarum (orbicularis oculi) and to join sensory nerves (frontal, suprtrochlear, infratrochlear, and nasal). These branches probably represent an aberrant course of sensory fibers from the trigeminal nerve. One variation in the orbital course consists of the trochlear piercing (instead of coursing over) M. levator palpebrae superioris on its way to the superior oblique muscle.


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

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