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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


FREGNANI, José HumbertoTavares Guerreiro et al. Cardia: at the End of the Day, what is it?. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2007, vol.25, n.2, pp.375-380. ISSN 0717-9502.

There is no consensus about the precise definition of what the cardia is. Although this term is often utilized in the medical literature, it takes on a variety of meanings, depending on the context. For histologists and endoscopists, the cardia is a region of the stomach immediately below the gastroesophageal junction. However, the concepts of gastroesophageal junction used by histologists and endoscopists are not the same as used by anatomists. This junction is histologically defined as the abrupt transition from the nonkeratinized stratified squamous epithelium of the esophagus to simple columnar epithelium and corresponds to the endoscopically defined Z-line. Nevertheless, this epithelial change does not occur exactly in the anatomical transition between the esophagus and stomach, but is situated in the esophagus, 1 or 2 cm above the anatomical transition. Surgeons usually use the term cardia as synonymous with lower esophageal sphincter. From a strictly oncological point of view, the cardia is the region that includes the most distal 5 cm of the esophagus and the most proximal 5 cm of the stomach. Thus, it is easy to see that there is no uniform concept of the cardia. The term cardia needs to be revised as a matter of urgency

Keywords : Cardia; Gastroesophageal junction; Lower esophageal sphincter; Gastric mucosa; Terminology.

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