Definitions

Greater palatine canal

Greater palatine canal

The greater palatine canal (or pterygopalatine canal) is a passage in the skull that transmits the greater palatine artery, vein, and nerve between the pterygopalatine fossa and the oral cavity.

Structure

The greater palatine canal starts on the inferior aspect of the pterygopalatine fossa. It goes through the sphenoid and palatine bones to reach the palate, ending at the greater palatine foramen. From this canal, accessory canals branch off; these are known as the lesser palatine canals.

The canal is formed by a vertical groove on the posterior part of the maxillary surface of the palatine bone; it is converted into a canal by articulation with the maxilla.

The canal transmits the descending palatine vessels, and the anterior palatine nerve.

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