The ophthalmic artery arises from the internal carotid, just as that vessel is emerging from the cavernous sinus, on the medial side of the anterior clinoid process, and enters the orbital cavity through the optic foramen, below and lateral to the optic nerve. It then passes over the nerve to reach the medial wall of the orbit, and thence horizontally forward, beneath the lower border of the Obliquus superior, and divides it into two terminal branches, the frontal and dorsal nasal. As the artery crosses the optic nerve it is accompanied by the nasociliary nerve, and is separated from the frontal nerve by the Rectus superior and Levator palpebræ superioris.

Branches.—The branches of the ophthalmic artery may be divided into an orbital group ,distributed to the orbit and surrounding parts; and an ocular group, to the muscles and bulb of the eye.

Orbital group:

  • Lacrimal.
  • Supraorbital.
  • Posterior Ethmoidal.
  • Anterior Ethmoidal.
  • Medial Palpebral.
  • Frontal.
  • Dorsal Nasal

Ocular Group:

  • Central Artery of the Retina.
  • Short Posterior Ciliary.
  • Long Posterior Ciliary.
  • Anterior Ciliary.
  • Muscular.

This definition incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy (20th U.S. edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1918 – from


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