The sympathetic nervous system embraces the system that may be actuated by external stimuli, such as light (causing reaction of the iris), cutaneous irritation and emotions ; the sympathetic portion proper, and the purely autonomic system, sometimes referred to as the parasympathetic system (fig. 1).
Starling1 described the basic physiology and anatomy as follows:
All the vasoconstrictor nerves of the human body leave the spinal cord by the anterior roots of the spinal nerves from the first dorsal to the fourth lumbar inclusive. From the roots they pass by the white rami communicantes to the ganglia of the sympathetic chain lying along the front of the vertebral column. Here they take different courses according to their destination. . . . The fibers to the head and neck leave by the first four thoracic nerves, pass into the sympathetic chain through the first dorsal ganglion and ansa Vieusseni to the inferior cervical
WEEKS JE. RELATION OF THE SYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEM TO DISEASES OF THE EYE: WITH REGARD TO SURGICAL PROCEDURES. Arch Ophthalmol. 1937;17(6):967–982. doi:10.1001/archopht.1937.00850060019001
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