Minim Invasive Neurosurg 2006; 49(3): 156-160
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-944241
Original Article
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

The Microsurgical Anatomy of the Ciliary Ganglion and its Clinical Importance in Orbital Traumas: An Anatomic Study

Y.  Izci1 , E.  Gonul1
  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
18 July 2006 (online)


The ciliary ganglion can easily be injured during surgery for the repair of orbital fractures and laterally situated intraorbital mass lesions. The aim of this study is to elucidate the microsurgical anatomy of the ciliary ganglion and to emphasize its clinical importance in orbital traumas and surgeries. The orbits of 10 adult cadavers were fixed with 10 % formalin and dissected under the microscope with special attention to the presence and location of the ciliary ganglion. The motor (parasympathetic), sympathetic, and sensory roots, and the short ciliary nerves were exposed. Its relationship with other intraorbital neural and vascular structures were investigated. Some anatomic landmarks were determined and the distances between these landmarks were measured. The ciliary ganglion is an intraorbital neural structure approximately 3 mm in size, situated near the orbital apex, posterolateral to the globe in loose areolar tissue between the optic nerve and lateral rectus muscle. The mean distance between the ganglion and the optic nerve was 2.9 mm (range: 2.70 - 3.10 mm) and the mean distance between the lateral rectus muscle and the ganglion was 10.4 mm (range: 9.20 - 11.20 mm). Six to 10 short ciliary nerves arise from the ganglion and run forward in a curving manner with the ciliary arteries above and below the optic nerve. The ciliary ganglion should be taken into the account especially during lateral approaches to the orbit and the patients should be warned before the surgery about possible mydriatic or tonic pupils as a complication.


Yusuf Izci, , M. D. 

Department of Neurosurgery · Gulhane Military Medical Academy

06018 Etlik



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