Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 40, Issue 12, pp 1391–1396 | Cite as

Visualization of the vidian canal and nerve using magnetic resonance imaging

  • Satoshi TsutsumiEmail author
  • Hideo Ono
  • Hisato Ishii
  • Yukimasa Yasumoto
Original Article


Background and purpose

Few studies have investigated the vidian nerve (VN) and vidian canal (VC) with the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The present study aimed to characterize the VC and VN using MRI.

Materials and methods

A total of 91 patients underwent thin-sliced, contrast MRI. The course of the VC and VN and the relationships with relevant structures were analyzed.


The VC was identified in 95% of axial images on the right side and in 93% on the left. The course of the VC was delineated in 99% of serial coronal images on both sides. The VN location in the VC was highly variable. The course of the VC and transmitting VN was delineated in 95% of sagittal images on the right side and in 91% on the left. The mean length of the VC was 19.8 mm on the right side and 19.3 mm on the left. Topographical relationships between the anterior genu of the petrous internal carotid artery and the posterior end of the vidian canal could be classified into three types. Of these, the type terminating at the level of the petrous carotid was the most predominant, comprising 76% of 182 sides. The course of the VC and transmitting VN could be classified into four types. The straight type was the most predominant and was found in 41%.


The VC and transmitting VN are structures with variable morphologies. Contrast MRI is useful for delineating the VC and VN.


Vidian canal Vidian nerve Morphology MRI 


Author contributions

ST contributed to the project design. HI and YY collected the imaging data. HO and HI analyzed the imaging data. ST wrote the manuscript.



Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to declare regarding the materials or methods in this study or the findings presented in this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Satoshi Tsutsumi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hideo Ono
    • 2
  • Hisato Ishii
    • 1
  • Yukimasa Yasumoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurological SurgeryJuntendo University Urayasu HospitalUrayasuJapan
  2. 2.Division of Radiological TechnologyMedical Satellite Yaesu ClinicTokyoJapan

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