What is the length of the oesophagus?
Where does the oesophagus begin and end?
Begins at lower level of cricoid cartilage (C6)
Terminates at T11-T12 where it enters the stomach
What kind of muscle is present in the oesophagus?
Upper 1/3 is skeletal muscle
Lower 2/3 is smooth muscle
What is the classification of the epithelium in the oesophagus?
What is the function of the oesophagus?
Transport food/liquid from the mouth to the stomach which is an active process
What propels swallowed materials into the stomach?
What produces oesophageal peristalsis?
Oesophageal circular muscles
What must the oesophageal circular muscles coordinate with so that food can enter the stomach?
Lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS)
What must the LOS do to allow food to enter the stomach?
What is contraction in the oesophageal body (peristalsis) and relaxation of the LOS mediated by?
What forms the LOS?
Striated muscle of the right crus of diaphragm
What is formed by the acute angle of His at gastro-oesophageal junction?
What does GOJ stand for?
What is the resting pressure like in distal smooth muscle of oesophagus?
High resting pressure due to LOS
What are key symptoms of oesophageal disease?
What is heartburn?
Retrosternal discomfort or burning
What can heartburn be associated with?
Waterbrash (sudden flow of saliva)
What is a sudden flow of saliva called?
What is heartburn a consequence of?
Reflux of acidic and/or bilious gastric contents into oesophagus
What do things that reduce LOS pressure result in?
What are examples of things that can reduce LOS pressure?
Drugs (dietary xanthines, alcohol, nicotine)
What does persistent reflux and heartburn lead to?
Gastro-oesophageal disease (GORD)
What does GORD stand for?
What is dysphagia?
Subjective sensation of difficulty in swallowing foods and/or liquids
What often accompanies dysphagia?
Odynophagia (pain when swallowing)
What is pain when swallowing called?
What should you enquire about when a patient presents with dysphagia?
Type of food (solid v liquid)
Pattern (progressive, intermittent)
Associated features (weight loss, regurgitation, cough)
Where can the location of dysphagia be?
Oropharyngeal (part of throat behind the mouth)
What is the part of the throat behind the mouth called?