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Ciliary ganglion

The ciliary ganglion is one of four parasympathetic ganglia of the head and neck. It receives parasympathetic fibers from the oculomotor nerve.

Gross anatomy

  • ~12 or more branches, termed short ciliary nerves
  • each contains elements from all 3 roots (above), and pierce back of sclera around attachment of optic nerve to supply the globe
  • the vast marjority of fibers from ganglionic cells supply ciliary body (accommodation); only ~3% supply sphincter pupillae
  • note; while both long and short ciliary nerves contain sensory/sympathetic supply to the cornea, iris, and ciliary body; only short ciliary are involved in pupillary constriction and accommodation

Related pathology

  • pathology of the ciliary ganglion can produce a tonic pupil, where the pupil does not react to light and slowly accommodates
  • Adie syndrome: when a non-reactive, slowly accomodating pupil is associated with absent deep tendon reflexes and diaphoresis
Anatomy: Head and neck

Anatomy: Head and neck

Article information

rID: 52207
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: branches of the oculomotor nerve (Gray's illustration)
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  • Figure 2: nerves of the orbit (Gray's illustration)
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