The artery of the pterygoid canal (Vidian artery) is the artery passing through the pterygoid canal to the auditory tube and surrounding area, giving pharyngeal branches.
It usually arises from the external carotid artery, but can arise from either the internal or external carotid artery or serve as an anastomosis between the two:
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- From external carotid artery: the artery passes backward along the pterygoid canal with the nerve of pterygoid canal. It is distributed to the upper part of the pharynx and to the auditory tube, sending into the tympanic cavity a small branch which anastomoses with the other tympanic arteries.
- From internal carotid artery: the artery passes backward along the pterygoid canal with the nerve of pterygoid canal. It The artery is a small, inconstant branch which passes into the pterygoid canal and anastomoses with a pterygopalatine branch of the maxillary artery.