QS Study

Ciliary ganglion is a parasympathetic ganglion. Topographically it is connected to the nasociliary nerve but functionally connected with the oculomotor nerve. It receives parasympathetic fibers from the oculomotor nerve.

Situation – Between the optic nerve and the lateral rectus muscle near the apex of the orbit. It is located within the bony orbit. It is situated anteriorly to the superior orbital fissure, between the lateral rectus muscle and the optic nerve.

Communications –

(A) Preganglionic parasympathetic fiber communicates the ganglion as follows:

  • Edinger Westphal nucleus (of oculomotor nerve in the midbrain)
  • Oculomotor nerve
  • The nerve to the internal oblique
  • Ciliary nerve
  • Ciliary ganglion.

(B) Postganglionic parasympathetic fibers leave the ganglion as follows:

  • Ciliary ganglion
  • Short ciliary nerves
  • Supply the ciliary muscle
  • Sphincter pupillage.

(C) Postganglionic sympathetic fibers ganglion as follows:

  • Superior cervical ganglion
  • Internal carotid plexus
  • Long ciliary nerve
  • Ciliary ganglion.

(D) Sensory root:

It is derived from the nasociliary nerve. It contains sensory fibers from the eyeball and passes to the ciliary ganglion. It conveys pain, touch, temperature sensation froth the eyeball.

Ciliary Ganglion 1

Fig: Ciliary Ganglion

Gross anatomy

  • located posterolaterally in the intraconal space of the orbit (towards the orbital apex) between the optic nerve and the lateral rectus muscle
  • just lateral to the ophthalmic artery as it crosses the optic nerve from lateral to medial


The ganglion gives of 8-10 short ciliary nerve which contains postganglionic, parasympathetic sympathetic and sensory fibers. They are responsible for pupillary constriction and accommodative power of the lens.

Related Study: