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Nerve: Nerve of pterygoid canal
Plan of the facial and intermediate nerves and their communication with other nerves. (Vidian nerve labeled at upper right.)
Latin n. canalis pterygoidei
Gray's subject #200 892
From greater petrosal nerve, deep petrosal nerve
To pterygopalatine ganglion

The nerve of the pterygoid canal (Vidian nerve), formed by the junction of the great petrosal nerve and the deep petrosal nerve in the cartilaginous substance which fills the foramen lacerum, passes forward, through the pterygoid canal, with the corresponding artery (artery of the pterygoid canal), and is joined by a small ascending sphenoidal branch from the otic ganglion.

Finally, it enters the pterygopalatine fossa, and joins the posterior angle of the pterygopalatine ganglion.

It contains preganglionic parasympathetic fibers from the greater petrosal nerve, a branch of the facial nerve (CN VII), and postganglionic sympathetic fibers from the deep petrosal nerve.

Additional images

The vidian nerve does not fill the foramen lacerum. The deep and great petrosal nerves join together to form the vidian nerve, which passes over the foramen lacerum. It is commonly stated that nothing passes through the foramen lacerum, but a more detailed look shows that emmisary veins enter here.

External links

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained within it may be outdated.



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