Greater palatine nerve

The greater palatine nerve (or anterior palatine nerve) is a branch of the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve and contributes to the pterygopalatine ganglion.

Gross anatomy

The greater palatine nerve divides off the maxillary division just after emerging from the foramen rotundum to enter the pterygopalatine fossa. At the pterygopalatine ganglion receives parasympathetic fibres that supply palatine mucosal glands as well as special sensory fibres (taste) which arrive at the ganglia via the greater petrosal nerve.

It leaves the fossa inferiorly through the greater palatine canal, and when its the canal gives off the lateral posterior inferior nasal nerve. The greater palatine nerve then emerges from the canal through the greater palatine foramen and curves anteriorly to run along on the undersurface of the hard palate which it may groove. It supplies the mucosa of the posterior hard palate.

Variant anatomy

According to some authors, it may give off a sensory branch to the medial wall of the maxillary sinus.

Head and neck anatomy
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Article Information

rID: 30590
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Tags: refs, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Anterior palatine nerve

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