Sphenopalatine artery

Last revised by Assoc Prof Craig Hacking on 10 Jul 2019

The sphenopalatine artery, formerly known as the nasopalatine artery, is the terminal branch of the maxillary artery that is the main supply to the nasal cavity. It is colloquially know as the artery of epistaxis given its common involvement in cases of nose bleeds. It is a major contributor to the rich arterial plexus known as Kiesselbach's plexus on the anteroinferior nasal septum.

Summary
  • origin: continuation of the third part of the maxillary artery as it enters the sphenopalatine foramen
  • course: courses anterior from the posterior aspect of the nasal cavity just posterior to the superior meatus
  • branches:
  • termination:
    • on the nasal septum the artery becomes the posterior septal branch which anastomose with the anterior ethmoidal artery, terminal ascending branch of the greater palatine artery and the septal branch of the superior labial artery of the facial artery
  • supply: supplies the mucosa of the majority of the nasal septum and the turbinates and conchae

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