The carotid canal is located in the petrous part of the temporal bone and transmits the internal carotid artery along with the venous and sympathetic nerve plexus. The shape, location and dimensions of the carotid canal are clinically very important especially in cases of skull base surgery. The aim of this study was to investigate the morphological and morphometric parameters of the external aperture of the carotid canal in Serbian population. The study included 24 dry adult skulls and 36 dry adult temporal bones. Diameters and distances of the external aperture of the carotid canal from various important landmarks of the skull base were measured. The shape of the external carotid canal aperture was also noted. Digital data were processed in the ImageJ software. The average length of the external aperture of the carotid canal in all investigated specimens (skulls and temporal bones) on the right and left sides was 7.31±1.01 mm and 7.71±1.06 mm, respectively. The average width of the external aperture of the carotid canal on the right side was 5.82±0.78 mm while on the left side was 6.20±1.04 mm. The frequency of different shapes of the external aperture of the carotid canal was as follows: round in 45 (53.57 %), oval in 25 (29.76 %), and the rarest was almond shape noted in 13 (15.47 %) cases. There were no statistically significant differences in all measured parameters between genders and body sides. The only statistical significance was found in females between right and left side in relation with length (AP diameter) of the external aperture of the carotid canal. The results of this study will be useful for neurosurgeons to improve different surgical approaches to the petrous part of the internal carotid artery and prevent its complications.
PUPOVAC, N.; ERIC, M.; SEKULIC, S.; KNEZI, N.; VLASKI, A.; HAJDER, D. & PETKOVIC, B. Morphological and morphometric analysis of the external aperture of the carotid canal in Serbian population. Int. J. Morphol., 38(4):1026-1031, 2020.