Muscle anatomy of the human esophagus

G. W. Meyer, R. M. Austin, C. E. Brady, D. O. Castell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


We studied the esophageal musculature of 11 cadavers to assess the distribution of striated and smooth muscle. The lower 54-62% of the esophagus was found to be exclusively smooth muscle, the proximal 4.1-5.6% to be exclusively striated, and the remainder to be mixed. The area in which striated and smooth muscle portions were approximately equal, the 50/50 point, was found to be 4.7 ± 0.6 cm from the proximal portion of the cricopharyngeus muscle. This point corresponds to the previously described physiologic low pressure zone in the proximal esophagus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-134
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • Anatomy
  • Esophagus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Muscle anatomy of the human esophagus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this