Ascending palatine artery

Last revised by Travis Fahrenhorst-Jones on 31 Aug 2021

The ascending palatine artery is a branch of the facial artery that supplies part of the soft palate. In addition, the vessel also supplies the tensor veli palatini, uvular muscle, palatine tonsils, and palatopharyngeus 1,2. The posterior branch supplies the posterior and inferior soft palate especially 2

  • origin: facial artery (most commonly)
  • course: travels superiorly in close association with the styloid musculature before traveling inferomedially from the parapharyngeal space and entering the palate 5
  • branches​​: anterior and posterior branches
  • termination: anastomoses with the lesser palatine branch of the descending palatine artery 3

The origin of the ascending palatine artery is variable. Variations in origin include the junction of the facial and external carotid arteries, external carotid arteryascending pharyngeal artery, and maxillary artery 2,4

Anterior and posterior branches of the ascending palatine artery are not always present with the absence of either being possible 2

While the ascending palatine artery is thought to be difficult to catheterize and therefore embolization of the vessel is rarely performed to treat refractory epistaxis 6, mucosal necrosis following embolization has been reported in the past 7

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