Anatomy

The cervical esophagus begins just below the upper esophageal sphincter and is 6 cm long.

Its distal end cannot be positively identified at endoscopy, however. The cervical esophagus is a straight, collapsed tube that appears largely featureless at endoscopy. Air insufflation distends it to a round, symmetrical lumen that is affected very little by respiratory movements (Figs. 2.10, 2.11 ; Table 2.2). The middle esophageal constriction is located approximately 27 cm from the incisor teeth, several centimeters past the junction with the thoracic esophagus.

Table 2.2 Cervical esophagus

► Approximately 16-20 cm from the incisor teeth

► Symmetrical

► Delicate folds

► Straight course

Fig. 2.10 Cervical esophagus a Without air insufflation, the cervical esophagus is collapsed b Slight air insufflation c More forceful insufflation distends the esophagus, and the lumen appears round and symmetrical

Fig. 2.10 Cervical esophagus a Without air insufflation, the cervical esophagus is collapsed b Slight air insufflation

c More forceful insufflation distends the esophagus, and the lumen appears round and symmetrical

Fig. 2.11 Cross section at the level of the cervical esophagus. The cervical esophagus appears almost featureless at endoscopy. The next visible landmark is the midesophageal constriction sc = spinal column ce = cervical esophagus a = aorta mc = midesophageal constriction t = trachea

Fig. 2.11 Cross section at the level of the cervical esophagus. The cervical esophagus appears almost featureless at endoscopy. The next visible landmark is the midesophageal constriction sc = spinal column ce = cervical esophagus a = aorta mc = midesophageal constriction t = trachea

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