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Pterygopalatine Ganglion (Sphenopalatine Ganglion)


  1. It is the largest parasympathetic ganglion, suspended by two roots to maxillary nerve. Functionally, it is related to facial nerve. It is called ganglion of "hay fever". Its roots are:-
    1. Sensory root:-It is from maxillary nerve.
    2. Sympathetic root:-It is sympathetic plexus around internal carotid artery through deep petrosal nerve.
    3. Secretomotor (parasympathetic) root:-Preganglionic fibers arise from lacrimatory nucleus, pass through facial nerve, then to its greater petrosal branch. Greater petrosal nerve unites with deep petrosal nerve (sympathetic fibers) to form nerve to pterygoid canal (Vidian nerve). Fibers reach to pterygopalatine ganglion; only fibers of greater petrosal nerve relay in the ganglion, not of deep petrosal nerve. Postganglionic fibers supply lacrimal gland and palatal glands, and pharyngeal glands.
  2. Branches of the pterygopalatine ganglion are :-
    1. For lacrimal gland: - Postganglionic fibers pass through zygomatic nerve (branch of maxillary nerve), its zygomaticotemporal division which gives communicating branch to lacrimal nerve for supplying lacrimal gland.
    2. Nasopalatine nerve:-For nasal and palatal glands.
    3. Nasal branches: - For mucous membrane and glands oflateral wall of nasal cavity.
    4. Palatine branches: - One greater palatine and 2-3 lesser palatine branches for glands of soft palate and hard palate.
    5. Orbital branches: - For orbital periosteum.
    6. Pharyngeal branches:-For glands of pharynx.

Ciliary Ganglion

Topographically, ciliary ganglion is related to nasociliary nerve (a branch of ophthalmic division of trigeminal nerve), but functionally it is related to oculomotor nerve. Its roots are:-

  1. Sensory root:-It is from nasociliary nerve.
  2. Sympathetic root: - It is from plexus around ophthalmic artery.
  3. Parasympathetic root: - It is from a branch to inferior oblique muscle. These fibers arise from Edinger – Westphalnucleus, join oculomotor nerve and then to its branch to inferior oblique to relay in ciliary ganglion. Postganglionic fibers pass through short ciliary nerves to supply sphincter pupillae and ciliary muscles.

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