pl. esophagi [L. esophagus fr Gr. oisophagos]
The muscular tube, about 10 to 12 in (25 to 30 cm) long, that carries swallowed foods and liquids from the pharynx to the stomach. In the upper third of the esophagus, the muscle is striated; in the middle third, striated and smooth; and in the lower third, entirely smooth. Peristalsis is regulated by the autonomic nervous system. At the junction with the stomach is the lower esophageal sphincter, which relaxes to permit passage of food, then contracts to prevent backup of stomach contents.
esophageal (ē-sof″ă-jē′ăl ), adj.
SEE: Barrett esophagus
A finding in eosinophilic esophagitis in which there is lengthwise shearing, tearing, or splitting of the esophageal mucosa.
foreign bodies in the esophagus
Items trapped in the esophagus (typically fishbones, coins, or large unchewed pieces of food). Parenteral glucagon may help the material pass through the esophageal sphincter to the stomach, but endoscopic retrieval of the material is usually necessary.
FOREIGN BODY IN ESOPHAGUS Meat impaction in the lower esophageal sphincter (as seen through an endoscope)
Ineffective contractions of the esophagus combined with loss of tone in the lower esophageal sphincter. It is a common complication of scleroderma.
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