|Nerve: Cervical ganglia|
Diagram of the cervical sympathetic.
The cervical ganglia are paravertebral ganglia of the sympathetic nervous system. These emerging postganglionic nerves synapse with preganglionic nerves from the thoracic spinal cord. They consist of three paravertebral ganglia:
- superior cervical ganglion (largest) - adjacent to C2 & C3; postganglionic axon projects to target: (heart, head, neck) via "hitchhiking" on the carotid arteries
- middle cervical ganglion (smallest) - adjacent to C6; target: heart, neck
- inferior cervical ganglion. The inferior ganglion may be fused with the first thoracic ganglion to form a single structure, the stellate ganglion. - adjacent to C7; target: heart, lower neck, arm, posterior cranial arteries
Nerves emerging from cervical sympathetic ganglia contribute to the cardiac plexus, among other things. Unlike all other ganglia, the medial branches of the cervical ganglia are 95% postganglionic axons.
- Anatomy photo:31:07-0200 at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center - "The Sympathetic Trunk and Cervical Ganglia"
- Physiology at MCG 6/6ch2/s6ch2_30
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