The sphenopalatine artery, formerly known as the nasopalatine artery, is the terminal branch of the maxillary artery that is the main supply to the nasal cavity. It is colloquially know as the artery of epistaxis given its common involvement in cases of nose bleeds. It is a major contributor to the rich arterial plexus known as Kiesselbach's plexus on the anteroinferior nasal septum.
- origin: continuation of the third part of the maxillary artery as it enters the sphenopalatine foramen
- course: courses anterior from the posterior aspect of the nasal cavity just posterior to the superior meatus
- numerous posterior lateral nasal branches course anteriorly along the lateral nasal wall and turbinates and anastomose with branches of the anterior and posterior ethmoidal arteries
- numerous septal branches course anteriorly along the nasal septum and anastomose with branches of the greater palatine artery
- pharyngeal branch passes through the vomerovaginal canal between the sphenoid body and vomer
- on the nasal septum the artery becomes the posterior septal branch which anastomose with the anterior ethmoidal artery, terminal ascending branch of the greater palatine artery and the septal branch of the superior labial artery of the facial artery
- supply: supplies the mucosa of the majority of the nasal septum and the turbinates and conchae