THE SPHENOPALATINE ganglion has been associated with the sensory nervous system since it was first described by Meckel in a monograph entitled, "The Fifth Pair of Nerves."1 It achieved clinical significance one hundred and sixty years later, when Sluder published his observations under the title "The Role of the Sphenopalatine Ganglion in Nasal Headaches."2 A voluminous bibliography on the clinical aspects of the sphenopalatine ganglion has perpetuated the belief that the ganglion is a somatic sensory structure concerned with perception of pain. Reports based on experimental evidence, however, indicate that it is a visceral motor ganglion, which regulates secretory and vasomotor reflexes.3 Both points of view may be evaluated by a study of nasal membranes after section of the fifth sensory root and cervical sympathectomy. To establish a background for these observations, a brief review of the autonomic nervous system will be given.
The experiments of
HIGBEE D. FUNCTIONAL AND ANATOMIC RELATION OF SPHENOPALATINE GANGLION TO THE AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM. Arch Otolaryngol. 1949;50(1):45–58. doi:10.1001/archotol.1949.00700010052005
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