The Normal Esophagus—Embryology, Structure, and Function

  • Horatio Enterline
  • John Thompson


The esophagus becomes recognizable at the 2.5-mm stage (approximately the 3rd week of gestation) as a constriction separating pharynx and stomach. When it reaches 5 mm (32 days) it is a short tube, which rapidly elongates during the 6th and 7th weeks, mostly by cephalad migration of the laryngopharyngeal area.1,2 Lateral ridges of proliferating epithelium rapidly develop in the uppermost segment, dividing the lumen into an anterior and a posterior portion. Necrosis of epithelium in the septa thus formed and immigration of mesenchyme cause separation of the trachea and esophagus by the 36th day.3


Lower Esophageal Sphincter Muscularis Propria Distal Esophagus Bronchial Artery Esophageal Body 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Horatio Enterline
    • 1
  • John Thompson
    • 2
  1. 1.Hospital of the University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Kaiser-Permanente Regional LaboratoryClackamasUSA

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