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soupy or pasty mixture of semi-digested food

lesser curvature

extends the short distance of the stomach from the esophagus to the duodenum along the medial to superior aspect

greater curvature

extends the longer distance of the stomach from the esophagus to the duodenum along the lateral to inferior aspect

cardiac region

small area within three cm of the cardiac orifice

fundic region

dome-shaped portion superior to the esophageal attachment


the greatest part of the stomach distal to the cardiac orifice

pyloric region

slightly narrower pouch at the inferior end of the stomach


subdivision of the pyloric region; funnel-like

pyloric canal

subdivision of the pyloric region; narrower


subdivision of the pyloric region; latter terminates, narrow passage into the duodenum

pyloric sphincter

thick ring of smooth muscle that surrounds the pylorus which regulates the passage of chyme into the duodenum

gastric pits

depressions in the gastric mucosa lined with the same columnar epithelium as the surface

cardiac glands

glands that open into the bottom of each gastric pit in the cardiac region

pyloric glands

glands that open into the bottom of each gastric pit in the pyloric region

gastric glands

glands that open into the bottom of each gastric pit in the rest of the stomach

mucous cells

secrete mucus; predominate in the cardiac and pyloric glands; mucous neck cells in the gastric glands

regenerative cells

found in the base of the pit and neck of the gland, divide rapidly and produce a continual supply of new cells

parietal cells

secrete HCl, intrinsic factor, and ghrelin; found mostly in gastric glands

chief cells

most numerous; secrete gastric lipase and pepsinogen; dominate the lower half of the gastric glands

enteroendocrine cells

concentrated especially in the lower end of the gland, secrete hormones and paracrine messengers that regulate digestion; occur in all regions of the stomach

esophageal hiatus

where the esophagus penetrates the diaphragm

cardiac orifice

opening of the esophagus into the stomach

lower esophageal sphincter

stops food before entering the stomach; prevents stomach contents from regurgitating into the esophagus

esophageal glands

secrete lubricating mucus into the lumen

muscularis externa

composed of skeletal muscle in the upper 1/3 of the esophagus, mixture of skeletal and smooth in middle 1/3 and smooth muscle in the lower 1/3

pharyngeal constrictors

divisions of the circular muscle; force food downward during swallowing

upper esophageal sphincter

when food is not being swallowed, the inferior constrictor remains contracted to exclude air from the esophagus; physiological sphincter because it disappears at the time of death



swallowing center

pair of nuclei in the medulla oblongata that coordinate swallowing; communicates with muscles of the pharynx and esophagus by way of the trigeminal, facial, glossopharyngeal, and hypoglossal nerves

buccal phase

first phase of swallowing; voluntary control;tongue collects food, forms bolus, and pushes it posteriorly and enters the laryngopharynx

pharyngoesophageal phase

second phase of swallowing; involuntary


wave of muscular contractions that pushes the bolus ahead of it.

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