Intracranial Pathway of Cranial Nerve V
The intracranial segment of the trigeminal nerve emerges from the upper lateral portion of the ventral pons, passes over the petrous apex (the crest of the petrous part of temporal bone), forms the trigeminal ganglion, and then divides into 3 branches (see Figs 3-1, 3-2). The trigeminal ganglion, also called the gasserian or semilunar ganglion, contains the cell bodies of origin of all CN V sensory axons. The crescent-shaped ganglion occupies a recess in the dura mater posterolateral to the cavernous sinus. This recess, called the Meckel cave, is near the apex of the petrous part of the temporal bone in the middle cranial fossa. Medially, the trigeminal ganglion is close to the ICA and the posterior cavernous sinus.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 2 - Fundamentals and Principles of Ophthalmology. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.