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1. Superior cervical ganglion - lies anterior to C1 + C2 lateral masses.

2. Middle cervical ganglion - lies anterior to carotid tubercle (C6), anterior to vertebral artery.

3. Inferior cervical ganglion - lies behind the commencement of the vertebral artery. Commonly fused with the first thoracic ganglion to form the stellate/cervicothoracic ganglion. This can measure up to 0.5cm*1cm and lies anterior to the neck of the first rib.

4. Ganglia supply grey rami to all 8 cervical nerves. Superior supplies C1-4, middle supplies C5-6, inferior supplies C7-8.

5. Ganglia also supply visceral branches to the cardiac plexus.

6. Ganglia supply vascular branches which hitch-hike along arteries, the superior ganglion supplies the ICA + ECA. This constitutes the internal carotid nerve. The fibers are distributed to the pterygopalatine ganglion + eye (motor supply to the dilator pupilae).

7. Injury to the superior cervical sympathetic ganglion can lead to Horner's syndrome (triad of ptosis, meiosis, anhydrosis).


1. Mcminn. (2003). Last's Anatomy. Elsevier Australia. ISBN:0729537528. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
2. Netter, F. H. (2019). Atlas of human anatomy. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
3. Image: no reference available.

Ⓒ A. Manickam 2018

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