controversial. The aim of the present study was to determine the existence, histological characteristics and length of cardiac mucosa and to correlate these features with the patients' age and the presence of inflammation in the gastric cardia and/or esophagus.

Methods. The cardiac mucosa within the whole esophagogastric junction was histologically analyzed in 38 consecutive autopsy specimens and measured in 24 cases.

Results. The cardiac mucosa was identified in all specimens from all cases, with a mean length of 6.7 mm, range 0.927-19.5 mm. In the majority of cases, the length of cardiac mucosa was less than 10 mm (87.5%) and greater than 5 mm (71%). Cardiac mucosa was composed of a combination of pure mucous glands and mucous glands with parietal cells in 74% of cases, and only of mucous glands with parietal cells in 26% of cases. Carditis was recorded in 23.7% cases and reflux esophagitis in 15.8%. The length of cardiac mucosa was not significantly different between cases with and without carditis (p>0.05), between those with and without esophagitis (p>0.05), and between age groups older and younger than 60 years (p>0.05).

Conclusion. In the adult population, a short histological segment of gastric cardia was consistently present as a normal histological structure. The type, length and circumferential presence of cardiac mucosa were not significantly associated with carditis, esophagitis or age.


Cardiac mucosa, gastric cardia, esophagogastric junction, histology