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Outline of stomach, showing its anatomical landmarks
Inside of the stomach (pylorus labeled at center left)
Gray'ssubject #247 1164
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Outline of stomach, showing its anatomical landmarks
Inside of the stomach (pylorus labeled at center left)
Gray'ssubject #247 1164

The pylorus (/pˈlɔərəs/ or /pɨˈlɔərəs/; from the Greek πυλωρός, "gate guard") is the region of the stomach that connects to the duodenum (the beginning of the small intestines). The adjectival form of pylorus is pyloric (/pˈlɔərɪk/ or /pɨˈlɔərɪk/).


Diagram from
* 1. Body of stomach
* 2. Fundus
* 3. Anterior wall
* 4. Greater curvature
* 5. Lesser curvature
* 6. Cardia
* 9. Pyloric sphincter
* 10. Pyloric antrum
* 11. Pyloric canal
* 12. Angular notch
* 13. Gastric canal
* 14. Rugal folds

It is divided into two parts, the pyloric antrum, which connects to the body of the stomach, and the pyloric canal, which connects to the duodenum.[1]:272

Pyloric antrum[edit]

Pyloric antrum (lesser cul-de-sac) is the initial portion of the pyloric part of the stomach. It is near the bottom of the stomach, proximal to the pyloric sphincter, which separates the stomach and the duodenum. It may temporarily become partially or completely shut off from the remainder of the stomach during digestion by peristaltic contraction of the prepyloric sphincter; it is demarcated, sometimes, from the second part of the pyloric part of the stomach (pyloric canal) by a slight groove.

Pyloric canal[edit]

The pyloric canal (Latin: canalis pyloricus) is the opening between the stomach and the small intestine [2]

Pyloric sphincter[edit]

The pyloric sphincter, or valve, is a strong ring of smooth muscle at the end of the pyloric canal which lets food pass from the stomach to the duodenum. It receives sympathetic innervation from the celiac ganglion.


Microscopic cross-section of the pylorus.

Under microscopy, the pylorus contains numerous glands, including gastric pits, which constitute about half the depth of the pyloric mucosa. They consist of two or three short closed tubes opening into a common duct or mouth. These tubes are wavy, and are about one-half the length of the duct. The duct is lined by columnar cells, continuous with the epithelium lining the surface of the mucous membrane of the stomach, the tubes by shorter and more cubical cell which are finely granular. The glands contain mucus cells and G cells that secrete gastrin.[citation needed]

The pylorus also contains scattered parietal cells and neuroendocrine cells. These endocrine cells including G cells, which produce gastrin, which stimulates gastric acid production, and luminal-pH-sensitive[citation needed] D cells, which release somatostatin.[3] :273 (responsible for shutting off acid secretion. There is a second hormone-sensitive population near the fundus.)


The purpose of the Pylorus is to simply connect the duodenum to the bottom of the stomach.

Clinical significance[edit]

One medical condition associated with the pylorus is pyloric stenosis.[4] One method of relieving this partial or complete obstruction is the surgical placement of a pyloric stent. This stent is synthetic tube which maintains patency between the stomach and proximal duodenum.

In such conditions as stomach cancer, tumours may partly block the pyloric canal. A special tube can be implanted surgically to connect the stomach to the duodenum so as to facilitate the passage of food from one to the other. This tube is called a gastroduodenostomy.


pylorus — gatekeeper, antrum — cave; cavern; hollow place with overarching foliage; cavity, hollow; tomb.

Additional images[edit]


See also[edit]

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see anatomical terminology.


  1. ^ Drake, Richard L.; Vogl, Wayne; Tibbitts, Adam W.M. Mitchell ; illustrations by Richard; Richardson, Paul (2005). Gray's anatomy for students. Philadelphia: Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone. ISBN 978-0-8089-2306-0. 
  2. ^ University of Illinois Medical Center:Health Library
  3. ^ . ISBN 978-0-4430-6-8508.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^

External links[edit]