Nasociliary nerve

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Nerves around the eyes

The nasociliary nerve (from Latin nasus " nose " and cilium " eyelash ", "lid") is a branch of the ophthalmic nerve , which in turn is a branch of the fifth cranial nerve ( trigeminal nerve ). It crosses the optic nerve from lateral to medial and divides into three branches on the nasal orbital wall : the ethmoid nerve, the infratrochlear nerve and the long ciliary nerve.

Posterior and anterior ethmoid nerves

The posterior and anterior ethmoid nerves pass through the posterior and anterior ethmoid foramina to the mucous membrane of the posterior ethmoid cells ( cellulae ethmoidales posteriores ) and to the sphenoid sinus (posterior branch) or back into the cranial cavity (anterior branch) and then through the ethmoid plate ( lamina cribrosa ) to the nasal mucosa ( ramus nasalis medialis , ramus nasalis lateralis ).

They supply the nasal mucous membrane sensitively. The anterior ethmoid nerve ends as the external nasal branch (leads towards the tip of the nose). In domestic mammals, the ethmoid nerve is not divided into posterior and anterior ramus. The terminal branches behave similarly.

Infratrochlear nerve

The infratrochlear nerve runs below the roll cartilage (hence the name) to the nasal corner of the eye and innervates the structures there, especially the tear ducts , the tear caruncle , the nictitating membrane and the upper eyelid .

Parasympathetic fibers of the oculomotor nerve also run in the infratrochlear nerve , which reach it via the ciliary ganglion and which supply the accessory lacrimal glands . In horses , the infratrochlear nerve also innervates the frontal sinus , and in goats the horn .

Nervi ciliares longi et breves

The nervi ciliares longi et breves enter the eyeball around the optic nerve through the white skin of the eye . They supply the middle skin of the eye ( choroid , radiating body , iris ), the cornea and the conjunctiva . The ciliary nerves pass through the ciliary ganglion .

Hutchinson sign

The appearance of herpes zoster on the nose is described as a Hutchinson sign . Since the tip of the nose is innervated by the nasociliary nerve and this is a branch of the ophthalmic nerve, it is suspected that ophthalmic zoster is present. The Hutchinson sign must not be confused with the Hutchinson triad .


  • Martin Trepel: Neuroanatomy. Structure and function. 3rd, revised edition. Urban & Fischer, Munich et al. 2004, ISBN 3-437-41297-3 .
  • Franz-Viktor Salomon: nervous system, systema nervosum . In: Franz-Viktor Salomon, Hans Geyer, Uwe Gille (Ed.): Anatomy for veterinary medicine. Enke, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-8304-1007-7 , pp. 464-577.
  • Johannes Patzelt: BASICS-Augenheilkunde ELSEVIER, edition 2, page 30/31