From WikiLectures

The oesophagus is a narrow tube that connects the mouth to the stomach, allowing food to reach there. It has stratified, non-keratinised squamous epithelium. Illu dige tract.jpg

Tract[edit | edit source]

The oesophagus descends from the mouth into the diaphragm; through the oesophageal hiatus at the T10 level. It has a midline position as it moves down the thorax. Nearing the diaphragm, it moves to be left and anterior to the thoracic Aorta.

Compressions[edit | edit source]

  1. Junction of the pharynx and the oesophagus
  2. Superior mediastinum - arch of Aorta
  3. Posterior mediastinum - left main bronchus
  4. Posterior mediastinum - compressed hiatus

Innervation[edit | edit source]

  • Vagus nerve and sympathetic trunk
  • Striated muscle by bronchial branch of vagus nerve
  • Smooth muscle by parasympathetic fibres

Oesophageal Plexus[edit | edit source]

Anterior vagal trunk comes from the left vagus nerve; the posterior vagal trunk comes from the right vagus nerve.

Divisions[edit | edit source]

The oesophagus is 23-27cm long and 1-2cm in diameter. It is divided into three parts: cervical, thoracic and abdominal

  • Cervical - anterior to vertebral column: C6 to T1
  • Thoracic - superior and posterior mediastinum: T1 to oesophageal hiatus
  • Abdominal - from diaphragm to cardiac orifice

Oesophageal Varices[edit | edit source]

Veins drain portal and systemic blood. In portal hypertension, there is no blood flow into portal vein. This causes reverse flow through oesophageal tributaries, dilating the sub-mucosal veins in the oesophagus. This may lead to cirrhosis or oesophageal cancer.

Syntopy[edit | edit source]

  • Left - Aorta
  • Anterior - heart and pericardium
  • Posterior - vertebral column
  • Lateral and medial - lungs

Links[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

SNELL, Richard S. Clinical Anatomy by Regions. 8th Edition edition. 2004. ISBN 978-0-7817-6404-9.