Scanning Microscopy


The esophageal vascularization of adult male and female albinotic Guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) is studied by means of light microscopically evaluated serial sections and by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of vascular corrosion casts. Bronchoesophageal artery (cervical portion), direct branches of tha aorta, recurrent branches of the intercostal arteries (thoracic portion) as well as of the left gastric artery (abdominal portion) supply the esophagus; internal jugular vein, inferior thyroid vein (cervical portion), azygos vein, intercostal veins (thoracic portion) and portal vein, gastroepiploic vein and cranial pancreatoduodenal vein (abdominal portion) drain it. Longitudinally arranged arterioles, venules and capillaries lying at the level of the lamina propria of the esophageal mucosa around the whole circumference of the organ are the most striking vascular features, whereby the venules are considered as those vessels from which esophageal varices arise under pathological conditions.

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