Lesser petrosal nerve
|Lesser petrosal nerve|
Mandibular division of trigeminal nerve, seen from the middle line. The small figure is an enlarged view of the otic ganglion. (Small petrosal labeled at center top and bottom right.)
Plan of the facial and intermediate nerves and their communication with other nerves.
|Latin||nervus petrosus minor|
|Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy|
The lesser petrosal nerve (also known as the small superficial petrosal nerve) is the General visceral efferent (GVE) component of the glossopharyngeal nerve (CN IX), carrying parasympathetic pre-ganglionic fibers from the tympanic plexus to the parotid gland. It synapses in the Otic ganglion, from where the post-ganglionic fibers emerge.
After arising in the tympanic plexus, the lesser petrosal nerve passes forward and then through the hiatus for lesser petrosal nerve on the anterior surface of the petrous part of the temporal bone into the middle cranial fossa. It travels across the floor of the middle cranial fossa, then exits the skull via foramen ovale to reach the infratemporal fossa. The fibres synapse in the otic ganglion, and post-ganglionic fibres then travel briefly with the auriculotemporal nerve (a branch of V3) before entering the body of the parotid gland.
The lesser petrosal nerve will distribute its parasympathetic post-ganglionic (GVE) fibers to the parotid gland via the intraparotid plexus (or parotid plexus), the branches from the facial nerve in the parotid gland.
The nucleus of the lesser petrosal nerve is the inferior salivatory nucleus.
- Kakizawa Y. et al., "The course of the lesser petrosal nerve on the middle cranial fossa." Neurosurgery. 2007 Sep; 61(3 Suppl): 15-23. PMID 17876229
- Lesser petrosal nerve diagram
- cranialnerves at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University) (IX)
- lesson3 at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University) (midearcavity) (#7)
- MedEd at Loyola grossanatomy/h_n/cn/cn1/cn9.htm
- "9-10". Cranial Nerves. Yale School of Medicine. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03.