Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Duodenal Ulcer Anatomy

To better understand peptic ulcer disease, it helps to understand the anatomy of the esophagus and stomach.

The esophagus is a muscular tube that propels food down to the stomach. The stomach is the most dilated portion of the digestive tube, situated between the esophagus and the beginning of the small intestine (duodenum). It lies in the upper central portion of the abdomen (above the umbilicus) and to the left of the midline. The stomach produces gastric juice (acidic), which serves to breakdown proteins.

The stomach slowly pushes the food into the small intestine (duodenum), which absorbs nutrients from the food. The food passes through the small intestine and into the large intestine, which absorbs water from the food. The small intestine is about 18 feet (3.5 m) long and the large intestine is about 5 feet (1.5 m) long.

Gastrointestinal anatomy:

  • Esophagus and stomach
  • Intestines
  • Blood vessels of the intestines
  • Entire gastrointestinal tract

Last Updated: Nov 4, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Duodenal Ulcer References
  1. Bodger K, Daly MJ, Heatley RV. Clinical economics review: Helicobacter pylori-associated peptic ulcer disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1997 Apr;11(2):273-82. [9146763]
  2. Ford A, Delaney B, Forman D, Moayyedi P. Eradication therapy for peptic ulcer disease in Helicobacter pylori positive patients. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004 Oct 18;(4):CD003840. [15495066]
  3. Ford AC, Delaney BC, Forman D, Moayyedi P. Eradication therapy in Helicobacter pylori positive peptic ulcer disease: systematic review and economic analysis. Am J Gastroenterol. 2004 Sep;99(9):1833-55. [15330927]
  4. Vakil N, Fennerty MB. Direct comparative trials of the efficacy of proton pump inhibitors in the management of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2003 Sep 15;18(6):559-68. [12969082]
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