Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Esophagus: disease

Contributor(s): Susan Rackard

Anatomy and physiology refresher

Basic esophageal anatomy

  • Cervical, thoracic and abdominal portions.
  • Feline esophagus resembles the human one:
    • Proximal one-third: striated muscle.
    • Distal two-thirds: smooth muscle.
  • The dog, in comparison, has an esophagus which consists of two oblique layers of striated muscle.
  • Innervation: vagus nerve. Essential for normal peristalsis and esophageal function.

Basic esophageal physiology

  • Two functional sphincter areas:
    • Cranial (upper) esophageal sphincter: protects larynx during ingestion of food. Consists of the cricopharyngeal muscle.
    • Gastro-esophageal (lower) sphincter: a 'high pressure zone' which prevents gastric reflux between swallows and between meals.
  • Phases of swallowing:
    • Oropharyngeal: bolus negotiates relaxed cranial esophageal sphincter.
    • Esophageal: peristalsis through esophagus.
    • Gastro-esophageal: bolus passes through gastro-esophageal sphincter into stomach.
  • Normal function requires coordinated action of all sphincters and phases of swallowing.

Approach to the feline esophageal case

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Diagnostic modalities in esophageal disease

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Basic surgical principles

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Summary of surgical conditions of the feline esophagus

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers


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