Anterior ciliary arteries

The anterior ciliary arteries are seven small arteries in each eye-socket that supply the conjunctiva, sclera and the rectus muscles. They are derived from the muscular branches of the ophthalmic artery.

Anterior ciliary arteries
The arteries of the choroid and iris. The greater part of the sclera has been removed.
Iris, front view.
SourceOphthalmic artery
VeinAnterior ciliary veins
SuppliesConjunctiva, sclera and rectus muscles
LatinArteriae ciliares anteriores
Anatomical terminology


The anterior ciliary arteries are branches of the ophthalmic artery and run to the front of the eyeball in company with the extraocular muscles. They form a vascular zone beneath the conjunctiva, and then pierce the sclera a short distance from the cornea and end in the circulus arteriosus major. Three of the four rectus muscles; the superior, inferior and medial, are supplied by two ciliary arteries each, while the lateral rectus only receives one branch.


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 571 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

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