Plan of branches of internal maxillary artery. (Sphenopalatine visible in upper right.)
|Branches||posterior lateral nasal branches
posterior septal branches
|Supplies||frontal, maxillary, ethmoidal, and sphenoidal sinuses|
The sphenopalatine artery is a branch of the maxillary artery which passes through the sphenopalatine foramen into the cavity of the nose, at the back part of the superior meatus. Here it gives off its posterior lateral nasal branches.
Crossing the under surface of the sphenoid, the sphenopalatine artery ends on the nasal septum as the posterior septal branches. Here it will anastomose with the branches of the greater palatine artery.
The sphenopalatine artery is the artery responsible for the most serious, posterior nosebleeds (also known as epistaxis). It can be ligated surgically to control such nosebleeds.