Nerves of Nasal Cavity Anatomy
1. Olfactory bulb
2. Lateral internal nasal branch of anterior ethmoidal nerve (CN V1)
3. Palatine nerves (CN V2) (Greater palatine nerve; Lesser palatine nerve)
4. Nasopalatine nerve (CN V2)
5. Nerve (vidian) of pterygoid canal
6. Deep petrosal nerve
7. Greater petrosal nerve
8. Pterygopalatine ganglion
Comment: Vessels of the nasal cavity receive innervation from sympathetic and, to a lesser extent, parasympathetic divisions of the autonomic nervous system.
Sympathetic contributions arise in the deep petrosal nerve as postganglionic fibers that are largely vasomotor in function.
Parasympathetic fibers arise in the facial nerve as preganglionics, course to the pterygopalatine ganglion in the greater petrosal and vidian nerves, and synapse in the pterygopalatine ganglion.
Postganglionic fibers pass to the nasal mucosa, the hard and soft palates, and the mucosa of the paranasal sinuses.
Clinical: Facial fractures may involve a fracture of the cribriform plate, which transmits the axons of the olfactory bipolar neurons. As a brain tract, CN I is covered by the 3 meningeal layers and contains cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in its subarachnoid space around the olfactory bulb. A tear of the meninges can cause a leakage of CSF into the nasal cavity and provide a route of infection from the nose to the brain.