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Some functional characteristics of the oesophageal vestibule in infants and children
  1. A. R. Chrispin,
  2. G. W. Friedland,
  3. D. E. Wright
  1. Department of Diagnostic Radiology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London, W.C.1
  2. Department of Civil Engineering, Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, S.W.7

    Abstract

    The oesophageal vestibule lies immediately above the stomach and during quiet respiration is located partly in the thorax, partly in the hiatus in the diaphragm, and partly in the abdomen. An analysis of some aspects of function of the vestibule in infants and children who have a non-contractile gullet above the vestibule is presented. Opening of the vestibule is related to deglutition and is independent of the oesophagus above. In its opening and closing the vestibule is shown to have the characteristics of a `muscle throttle'. The rapidity of the event of either opening or closing is accounted for. The important relationship of calibre of lumen of the vestibule to flow through it is analysed. The effect of the indentations of mucosa into the lumen when the vestibule is partially open is analysed from a theoretical standpoint, and it is inferred that the vestibule when only partially open has the characteristics of a highly efficient choke.

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