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Supratrochlear artery

Recommended video: Superficial blood vessels of the head [23:07]
Superficial arteries and veins of the head and scalp.
Supratrochlear artery (Arteria supratrochlearis)

The supratrochlear artery is a terminal branch of the ophthalmic artery. It arises in the superomedial aspect of the orbit, then runs anteromedially to curve up onto the forehead at the frontal notch. It is accompanied by the trochlear nerve and supratrochlear vein.

After spreading across the forehead, it anastomoses with its contralateral counterpart and the supraorbital artery. The supratrochlear artery supplies the upper eyelid, periosteum, as well as the muscles of the forehead and adjacent skin.

This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the supratrochlear artery.

Key facts about the supratrochlear artery
Origin Ophthalmic artery
Branches Superficial and deep branches
Supply Medial portion of the upper eyelid; periosteum and skin of the forehead and glabella, frontalis muscle
  1. Course
  2. Branches and supply
  3. Sources
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The supratrochlear artery is one of two terminal branches of the ophthalmic artery, along with the (external) dorsal nasal artery. These terminal branches arise in the superomedial aspect of the orbit, anterior to the trochlea.

The supratrochlear artery exits the orbit at the frontal (supratrochlear) notch, located on the medial aspect of the supraorbital margin. Upon emerging onto the forehead it provides small branches for the periosteum, muscles and skin of the forehead region. It terminates by anastomosing with its contralateral counterpart and the supraorbital artery.

Branches and supply

Along with the supraorbital branch of the ophthalmic artery, the supratrochlear artery provides an abundant blood supply for the forehead and glabella.

Upon leaving the orbit, the supratrochlear artery gives off two small vessels named the superficial and deep branches. The superficial branch arises at the lower medial margin of the orbital rim. It runs superomedially towards the midline, crossing the frontalis muscle. The deep branch usually emerges around the medial canthus of the eye.

The supply territory of the supratrochlear artery includes the medial portion of the upper eyelid including the periosteum and skin of the forehead and glabella and the frontalis muscle.

Learn more about the superficial arteries and veins of the head with our articles, videos, labeled diagrams and quizzes. 

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