Utility of the Vidian Canal in Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery: Detailed Anatomy and Relationship to the Internal Carotid Artery

Mehmet Emin Adin, Cihan Akgul Ozmen, Nafi Aygun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To investigate key anatomic features of the vidian canal that have a critical role in planning and performing endoscopic skull base surgeries. Methods: We reviewed skull base computed tomographic images of 640 consecutive subjects. Studies were analyzed in axial, coronal and sagittal planes. Results: The mean (±SD) length of the vidian canal was 15.4 ± 2.0 mm in female subjects and 16.6 ± 1.7 mm in male subjects, and the difference between genders was statistically significant (P < 0.001). The most common rostral-caudal course of the vidian canal was medial to lateral and was followed by the straight course, tortuous course, and lateral-to-medial course. The frequency of pneumatization pattern from most common to least common was types 0, III, II and I. Of 342 evaluated sides, the vidian canal was located below the level of the anterior genu of petrous ICA in 303 (89%) sides, at same level with the anterior genu of petrous ICA in twenty-five(7%) sides, and above the level of the anterior genu of petrous ICA in fourteen(4.1%) sides. Conclusions: A variety of previously undefined features of the vidian canal that can alter the course of surgical procedure were defined. The position of the vidian canal with respect to the petrous internal carotid artery (ICA) was extensively described. From a surgical standpoint, a working room inferior and medial to the vidian canal might not always be a safe approach, because the vidian canal could be located superior to the level of the anterior genu of petrous ICA according to our findings in the present study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • Anatomic variation
  • Endoscopic surgery
  • Multidetector computed tomography
  • Skull-base
  • Sphenoid sinus
  • Vidian canal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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