carotid canal

(2023) Carotid Canal | Structure, Function & Anatomy

The carotid canal is a passage between the skull’s temporal bones through which the inner carotid artery enters the central cranial fossa of the neck. It is a passage through the temporal bone that transfers the inner carotid artery to the sympathetic plexus.

Carotid Canal Structure

Its lower opening is called the carotid foramen, located between the jugular fossa and the carotid plate.

The canal runs approximately 2 cm from the rock bone, opening into the central cranial fossa through the superior foramen lacerum. He then turns to the outside to reach the top of the petroses.

The carotid canal begins at the lower surface of the skull’s temporal bone; the canal’s outer opening is called the carotid foramen. The canal rises and makes a curve before going up.

Its inner opening is a lacerative foramen, through which the inner carotid artery leads to the cavernous sinus.

The canal allows the artery to pass through the skull to the carotid plexus, which travels through the artery. The plexus contains the sympathetic head and the superior cervical ganglion.

Carotid Canal skull
Inferior view of the skull – Carotid Canal


The Carotid Canal has several motor functions: the raising of the eyelids, superior tarsal muscles that dilate the pupil, and dilating muscles that innervate the sweat glands in the face and scalp and narrow the blood vessels in the head.

Carotid Canal Skull Fracture

Through the carotid artery canal, the inner carotid artery enters the skull at the caudal edge of the pituitary gland after it has been transferred to the posterior communication artery, which runs up the level of the optic chiasma.

It is divided into the middle cerebral artery, which runs along the lower surface of the cerebral hemisphere and reaches the branched cerebral hemisphere, and the anterior cerebral artery, which joins with its partner.

Skull fractures or damage to the carotid canal skull can endanger the internal artery. Angiography can be used to secure damage and help with treatment.

Clinical Significance

The long posterior communicating artery is important as it supplies part of the brain through the mesencephalon.

The anterior communicating artery, which does not occur in rats, runs backward to reach the basilar artery, and the upper cerebellar artery is the terminal branch of this artery.

In humans, the anterior cerebral arteries remain and connect with the anterior communicating arteries.

Connecting the anterior and posterior communicating arteries creates an anterior cerebral stem (azygous cerebral stem), which is curved at the anterior end of the corpus callosum and provides the medial aspects of the hemisphere.

The choroidal plexus of the third and lateral ventricles has its blood supply. The anterior choroid arises from the inner carotid artery and supplies the posterior and lower parts of the choroid and plexuses, but not the plexi of the lateral ventricles.

The lower horn of the third and lateral ventricle lies outside the carotid artery and is supplied by the anterior choroidal artery.

The posterior chorological artery arises directly from the posterior cerebral artery and supplies the choroidal plexus and the third lateral ventricle. Still, the remaining part of the choroidal plexus is not located in the plexi.

The fusion of the right and left vertebral arteries forms the basilar arteries. This fusion results in the posterior cerebellar artery, an artery in the spinal cord.

The basilar artery gives the barrier to the lateral branches of the brain stem, the inner auditory artery, which runs from the 7th to the 8th cranial nerve in the inner ear, and the anterior cerebellar inferior artery.

It runs just so far forward that it forms a small branch to the surrounding stalk of the pituitary gland and is ultimately divided into two superior cerebellar arteries.

It is important to remember that the arterial supply of the brain varies considerably between subjects.

This can affect the relationship between the posterior communicating arteries, posterior cerebral arteries, and the parent cerebellar arteries.

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