Revision 17 for 'Gastro-esophageal junction'

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Gastro-esophageal junction

The gastro-esophageal junction (GEJ) (also known as the esophagogastric junction) is the part of the gastrointestinal tract where the esophagus and stomach are joined.

Gross anatomy

The GEJ is normally mostly intra-abdominal and is is 3-4cm in length. To some extent, the esophagus slides in and out of the abdomen during respiration and when there is elevation of intra-abdominal pressure.


It is comprised of two histologically distinct areas:

  • stratified squamous epithelium (same as the esophagus superiorly)
  • columnar epithelium (same as the stomach inferiorly)

Where these two distinct areas join, there is an abrupt but non-linear change in the mucosal layer: this is called the Z-line.

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