Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Esophageal Squamous Columnar Junction

  • Paula ChavesEmail author
  • António Dias Pereira
Reference work entry


Esophageal squamous-columnar junction


The Z-line or squamous-columnar junction (SCJ) is the point of the esophagus where the stratified squamous esophageal lining meets the columnar epithelium (Spechler 2004). The esophagus is normally lined by a stratified squamous epithelium, whereas the gastric body and fundus exhibit a columnar lining with abundant mucous cells at the foveolar surface and numerous parietal and chief cells at the deep glands. These two types of epithelia normally meet together in an abrupt transition that is endoscopically and histologically recognized. Though the Z-line or SCJ is a very well-defined anatomical structure, its precise anatomical location and histological features are still disputed.

Clinical Features

  • Incidence

    Not applicable.

  • Age

    Not applicable.

  • Sex

    Not applicable.

  • Site

    The Z-line is located at the body of the esophagus.

  • Treatment

    Not applicable.

  • Outcome

    Not applicable.


The Z-line or SCJ may or may not be coincident...
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References and Further Reading

  1. Chandrasoma, P. T., Deer, R., Dalton, P., et al. (2001). Distribution and significance of epithelial types in columnar-lined esophagus. The American Journal of Surgical Pathology, 25, 1188–1193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hayward, J. (1961). The lower end of the oesophagus. Thorax, 16, 36–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Paull, A., Trier, J. S., Dalson, M. D., et al. (1976). The histologic spectrum of Barrett’s esophagus. The New England Journal of Medicine, 295, 476–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Spechler, J. S. (2004). Intestinal metaplasia at the gastroesophageal junction. Gastroenterology, 126, 567–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Wallner, B., Sylvan, A., Stenling, R., & Janunger, K. G. (2000). The esophageal Z-line appearance correlates to the prevalence of intestinal metaplasia. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 35, 17–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Serviço de Anatomia PatológicaInstituto Português de Oncologia de Lisboa de Francisco GentilLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Faculdade de Ciências da SaúdeUniversidade da Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal
  3. 3.Instituto Português de Oncologia de Lisboa Francisco Gentil, E.P.E.LisbonPortugal