Short posterior ciliary arteries

Short posterior ciliary arteries
The arteries of the choroid and iris. The greater part of the sclera has been removed.
SourceOphthalmic artery
VeinVorticose veins
SuppliesChoroid (up to the equator of the eye)
ciliary processes
Latinarteriae ciliares posteriores breves
Anatomical terminology

The short posterior ciliary arteries are a number of branches of the ophthalmic artery. They pass forward with the optic nerve to reach the eyeball, piercing the sclera around the entry of the optic nerve into the eyeball.


The number of short posterior ciliary arteries varies between individuals; one or more short posterior ciliary arteries initially branch off the ophthalmic artery, subsequently dividing to form up to 20 short posterior ciliary arteries.


The short posterior ciliary arteries branch off the ophthalmic artery as it crosses the optic nerve medially.

Course and relations

About 7 short posterior ciliary arteries accompany the optic nerve, passing anterior-ward to reach the posterior part of the eyeball, where they divide into 15-20 branches and pierce the sclera around the entrance of the optic nerve.


The short posterior ciliary arteries contribute arterial supply to the choroid, ciliary processes, optic disc, the outer retina, and Bruch's membrane.

Some branches of the short posterior ciliary arteries supply the optic disc by means of an anastomotic ring - the circle of Zinn-Haller or circle of Zinn - which is associated with the fibrous extension of the ocular tendons (common tendinous ring (also annulus of Zinn)).[citation needed]

Additional images

See also

This page was last updated at 2024-03-17 09:45 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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