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Blood Vessels of the Orbit
Blood vessels of the Orbit
A. Ophthalmic artery
- Is a branch of the internal carotid artery and enters the orbit through the optic canal beneath the optic nerve.
- Gives rise to the ocular and orbital vessels , which include the following:
1. Central artery of the retinaB. Ophthalmic veins
2. Long posterior ciliary arteries
- Is the most important branch of the ophthalmic artery.
- Travels in the optic nerve; it divides into superior and inferior branches to the optic disk, and each of those further divides into temporal and nasal branches.
- Is an end artery that does not anastomose with other arteries, and thus its occlusion results in blindness.
3. Short posterior ciliary arteries
- Pierce the sclera and supply the ciliary body and the iris.
4. Lacrimal artery
- Pierce the sclera and supply the choroid.
5. Medial palpebral arteries
- Passes along the superior border of the lateral rectus and supplies the lacrimal gland, conjunctiva, and eyelids.
- Gives rise to two lateral palpebral arteries , which contribute to arcades in the upper and lower eyelids.
6. Muscular branches
- Contribute to arcades in the upper and lower eyelids.
7. Supraorbital artery
- Supply orbital muscles and give off the anterior ciliary arteries, which supply the iris.
8. Posterior ethmoidal artery
- Passes through the supraorbital notch (or foramen) and supplies the forehead and the scalp.
9. Anterior ethmoidal artery
- Passes through the posterior ethmoidal foramen to the posterior ethmoidal air cells.
10. Supratrochlear artery
- Passes through the anterior ethmoidal foramen to the anterior and middle ethmoidal air cells, frontal sinus, nasal cavity, and external nose.
11. Dorsal nasal artery
- Passes to the supraorbital margin and supplies the forehead and the scalp.
- Supplies the side of the nose and the lacrimal sac.
1. Superior ophthalmic vein
2. Inferior ophthalmic vein
- Is formed by the union of the supraorbital, supratrochlear, and angular veins.
- Receives branches corresponding to most of those of the ophthalmic artery and, in addition, receives the inferior ophthalmic vein before draining into the cavernous sinus.
- Begins by the union of small veins in the floor of the orbit.
- Communicates with the pterygoid venous plexus and often with the infraorbital vein and terminates directly or indirectly in the cavernous sinus.
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