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| IMC Wiki | Arterial and venous supply to the visceral cranium

Arterial and venous supply to the visceral cranium

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Ophthalmic artery


The ophthalmic artery arises from the internal carotid artery and supplies the whole orbit and forehead region.
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Dorsal nasal branch of the ophthalmic artery dorsalis nasi
This is an end branch of the ophthalmic artery and descends from the medial angle of the eye to the bridge of the nose.

The lingual artery


The lingual artery arises from the external carotid artery at the level of the hyoid bone. It curves downward under the Hyoglossus, forms a loop and runs between the Genioglossus and Longitudinalis inferior forward to the tip of the tongue, under the name of the profunda linguæ.
The sublingual artery
Runs between the Mylohyoid and sublingual salivary gland
and supplies the
  • Sublingual salivary gland
  • Mucosa of the sublingual surface of the tongue
  • Gingiva
  • Muscles

A. facialis (The facial artery)

The facial artery arises from the external carotid artery a little above the lingual artery and runs ventrally,
it turnes downward under the posterior belly of the Digastric,
curves underneath or through the submandibular salivary gland and
passes forward and upward along the anterior border of the Masseter over the margin of the mandible (the arterial pulse can be palpated here) to the face.
Here the vessel very tortuous and runs upward to the medial commissure of the eye as the angular artery,
where it anastamoses with the end branches of the ophthalmic artery.
Submental artery
Runs underneath the Mylohyoid to the chin and anastomoses with the sublingual artery #pic#.

The maxillary artery

It is one of the two end branches of the external carotid artery and
it runs on the inner surface of the mandibular ramus (pars mandibularis),
along the lateral pterygoid (pars pterygoidea),
to the pterygopalatine fossa (pars pterygopalatina) where it ramifies into the end branches.

1. Pars mandibularis (the arteries course mostly in bony canals)

Inferior alveolar artery
It runs in the mandibular canal and supplies the bones, the teeth and the gingiva and
it passes through the mental foramen under the name of mental artery and runs to the chin and the lower lip.

2. Pars pterygoidea
The branches supply the masticatory muscles.

Veins of the head

In general, veins course with the homonymous arteries.
They show a diverge only in few places.

The blood from the orbit drains via the ophthalmic vein into the cavernous sinus.
This vein is connected with the angular vein. Therefore, it can also drain from the outer nose and the upper lip (risk of ascendending infections in this region).



  • Waldeyer A, Mayet A [1993] Anatomie des Menschen Band 2 de Gruyter, Berlin New York