The esophagus is also referred to as the gullet. In the entire alimentary canal, the esophagus is the narrowest tube. The diameter is the minimum at the beginning of the esophagus and at the juncture where it gains entry into the diaphragm and proceeds towards the stomach via the same. The entire tube is estimated to be around twenty-three to twenty-five centimeters in length, stretching from the oral cavity to the stomach.
The esophagus commences from the lower edge of the cricoid cartilage in the neck, right opposite the sixth cervical vertebra. Moving forward from the front of the backbone via the superior and posterior mediastina, the esophagus pierces through the diaphragm to gain entry into the abdominal cavity. The termination point of the esophagus is the cardiac orifice of the stomach that is located opposite to the eleventh thoracic vertebra. During this entire pathway, the esophagus moves vertically except for two segments, where it takes a minor curve.
The esophagus is coated by the external or fibrous coat, muscular coat, submucous or areolar coat, and internal or mucous coat. The muscular coat in turn comprises of external longitudinal fibers and internal circular fibers.of blood vessels, nerves, and mucous glands. The mucous coat is red in color towards the beginning, with the coloration fading off below. This coat is lined by stratified squamous epithelial cells and also demonstrates the presence of small papillæ. A minor complex of racemose glands forms the esophageal glands that are located in the submucous tissue.
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