The vidian canal (VC), a bony tunnel in which the vidian artery and nerve pass, has been widely known as an important landmark to identify the anterior genu of the petrous carotid artery (AGPCA) especially during lateral extended endoscopic endonasal approachs (LEEEAs).
The objectives of a study in the Japanese population are to describe the radiological anatomic features and relationships between VC and its surrounding structures, and discuss the clinical implications.
Mato et al studied 231 high-resolution computed tomography (CT) scans with a slice thickness of 0.5 mm. All the patients had known sellar or parasellar pathologies but without any involvement of VC. The following VC-related parameters were examined: its length, relationship to AGPCA, course from the pterygopalatine fossa to the carotid canal, its position relative to the medial pterygoid plate and pneumatization pattern of the sphenoid sinus. Mean length of VC is 14.6 mm. There is more tendency of straight-running VC compared to other populations. VC locates infero-lateral to AGPCA in all the cases. The protrusion of VC and the paraclival carotid artery to the sphenoid sinus, as well as well-pneumatization of the sinus is also observed more frequently in almost a half of the population. Surgeons who perform LEEEAs in Japanese patients must know these anatomical features. The characteristics particular to Japanese populations may facilitate better identification of VC and exposure to AGPCA intraoperatively 1).