- Tube that connects the pharynx (at the level of C6) to the stomach (at the level of T11)
- Length: ∼ 25 cm
- Located between trachea and spine
- Crosses the diaphragm at T10 through the esophageal hiatus
- The thoracic esophagus is retroperitoneal.
- The abdominal part is intraperitoneal.
- Constrictions of esophagus
- Passage for food and liquids between the oropharynx and stomach
- Peristaltic contractions of the esophageal muscles assist in moving food downwards.
|Cervical portion|| || |
|Thoracic portion|| || |
|Abdominal portion|| || |
- Gross sensation of esophagus
- Innervates esophageal muscles and glands: Responsible for initiation of peristalsis and glandular activity.
- Cervical and thoracic sympathetic trunk
- Enteric nervous system: Auerbach plexus and Meissner plexus
Four concentric layers
- Mucosal (innermost)
- Contains inner circular and outer longitudinal muscle fibers. The Auerbach's plexus lies in between the two layers.
- Proximal ⅓ → mostly striated muscle
- Distal ⅔ → mostly smooth muscle
- Adventitia (outermost)