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    The Small and Large Intestines

    The Small and Large Intestines

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES

    By the end of this section, you will be able to:

    Describe the microscopic and gross anatomy of the small intestine.

    Describe the chemical digestive processes of the small intestine.

    Describe the process of absorption in the small intestine.

    Describe the gross and microscopic anatomy of the large intestine.

    List the major functions of the large intestine, and describe the regulation of defecation.

    State the physiological significance of the intestinal bacteria.

    The word intestine is derived from a Latin root meaning “internal,” and indeed, the two organs together nearly fill the interior of the abdominal cavity. In addition, called the small and large bowel, or colloquially the “guts,” they constitute the greatest mass and length of the alimentary canal and, with the exception of ingestion, perform all digestive system functions.

    The Small Intestine

    Chyme released from the stomach enters the small intestine, which is the primary digestive organ in the body. Not only is this where most digestion occurs, it is also where practically all absorption occurs. The longest part of the alimentary canal, the small intestine is about 3.05 meters (10 feet) long in a living person (but about twice as long in a cadaver due to the loss of muscle tone). Since this makes it about five times longer than the large intestine, you might wonder why it is called “small.” In fact, its name derives from its relatively smaller diameter of only about 2.54 cm (1 in), compared with 7.62 cm (3 in) for the large intestine. As we’ll see shortly, in addition to its length, the folds and projections of the lining of the small intestine work to give it an enormous surface area, which is approximately 200 m2, more than 100 times the surface area of your skin. This large surface area is necessary for complex processes of digestion and absorption that occur within it.

    Structure

    The coiled tube of the small intestine is subdivided into three regions. From proximal (at the stomach) to distal, these are the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum.

    The shortest region is the 25.4-cm (10-in) duodenum, which begins at the pyloric sphincter. Just past the pyloric sphincter, it bends posteriorly behind the peritoneum, becoming retroperitoneal, and then makes a C-shaped curve around the head of the pancreas before ascending anteriorly again to return to the peritoneal cavity and join the jejunum. The duodenum can therefore be subdivided into four segments: the superior, descending, horizontal, and ascending duodenum.

    Of particular interest is the hepatopancreatic ampulla (ampulla of Vater). Located in the duodenal wall, the ampulla marks the transition from the anterior portion of the alimentary canal to the mid-region, and is where the bile duct (through which bile passes from the liver) and the main pancreatic duct (through which pancreatic juice passes from the pancreas) join. This ampulla opens into the duodenum at a tiny volcano-shaped structure called the major duodenal papilla. The hepatopancreatic sphincter (sphincter of Oddi) regulates the flow of both bile and pancreatic juice from the ampulla into the duodenum.

    Figure 1. The three regions of the small intestine are the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum.

    The jejunum is about 0.9 meters (3 feet) long (in life) and runs from the duodenum to the ileum. Jejunum means “empty” in Latin and supposedly was so named by the ancient Greeks who noticed it was always empty at death. No clear demarcation exists between the jejunum and the final segment of the small intestine, the ileum.

    The ileum is the longest part of the small intestine, measuring about 1.8 meters (6 feet) in length. It is thicker, more vascular, and has more developed mucosal folds than the jejunum. The ileum joins the cecum, the first portion of the large intestine, at the ileocecal sphincter (or valve). The jejunum and ileum are tethered to the posterior abdominal wall by the mesentery. The large intestine frames these three parts of the small intestine.

    Parasympathetic nerve fibers from the vagus nerve and sympathetic nerve fibers from the thoracic splanchnic nerve provide extrinsic innervation to the small intestine. The superior mesenteric artery is its main arterial supply. Veins run parallel to the arteries and drain into the superior mesenteric vein. Nutrient-rich blood from the small intestine is then carried to the liver via the hepatic portal vein.

    Histology

    The wall of the small intestine is composed of the same four layers typically present throughout the alimentary canal. The mucosa layer is a layer of columnar epithelium, and is responsible for most nutrient absorption. To increase the efficiency of nutrient absorption, the mucosa and submucosa of the small intestine have several unique features including circular folds, villi, and microvilli. These features increase the absorptive surface area of the small intestine more than 600-fold. These adaptations are most abundant in the proximal two-thirds of the small intestine, where the majority of absorption occurs.

    Source : courses.lumenlearning.com

    Assignment 3 Flashcards

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    Assignment 3

    10cards James Medicine And Health Nutrition

    This muscular tube connects the pharynx to the stomach.

    esophagus

    Weakness of this structure is one of the causes of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

    gastroesophageal sphincter

    The individual epithelial cells that line this organ have a brush border of microvilli to increase the surface area and absorptive capacity.

    small intestine

    Repeated, wavelike smooth muscle contractions in the GI tract that move food through the tract are called

    peristalsis

    This organ hosts an extremely acidic environment which is needed to break down food into small particles.

    stomach

    What feature of the small intestine greatly expands its surface area, facilitating absorption?

    microvilli

    The wall of the gut tube has layers of smooth muscle that run both circularly and longitudinally. The contraction of these muscles produces

    peristalsis

    Which accessory organ of the GI system secretes enzymes that break down fats and carbohydrates?

    pancreas

    Which cell is NOT found in the gastric pits?

    zymogen cell

    What is the chemical that refluxes into the esophagus, causing the burning pain of GERD?

    hydrochloric(HCI)

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    Anatomy & Physiology Chapter 16 Flashcards

    Start studying Anatomy & Physiology Chapter 16. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.

    Anatomy & Physiology Chapter 16

    4.8 4 Reviews Esophagus

    Click card to see definition 👆

    This muscular tube connects the pharynx to the stomach.

    Click again to see term 👆

    Gastroesphogeal Sphincter

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    Weakness of this structure is one of the causes of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

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    1/34 Created by quizlette5907707

    Terms in this set (34)

    Esophagus

    This muscular tube connects the pharynx to the stomach.

    Gastroesphogeal Sphincter

    Weakness of this structure is one of the causes of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

    Small Intestine

    The individual epithelial cells that line this organ have a brush border of microvilli to increase the surface area and absorptive capacity.

    Peristalsis

    Repeated, wavelike smooth muscle contractions in the GI tract that move food through the tract are called _______

    Stomach

    This organ hosts an extremely acidic environment which is needed to break down food into small particles.

    Microvilli

    What feature of the small intestine greatly expands its surface area, facilitating absorption?

    Peristalsis

    The wall of the gut tube has layers of smooth muscle that run both circularly and longitudinally. The contraction of these muscles produces _______

    Pancreas

    Which accessory organ of the GI system secretes enzymes that break down fats and carbohydrates?

    Zymogen Cells

    Which cell is NOT found in the gastric pits?

    Hydrochloric Acid

    What is the chemical that refluxes into the esophagus, causing the burning pain of GERD?

    It is a narrow tube that easily becomes obstructed and inflamed.

    Why is this structure prone to the development of obstruction and other problems?

    The appendix is a small tube attached to the cecum in the RLQ.

    Where is the structure located that is causing Bill's symptoms?

    Bacterial infection may spread throughout the abdominal cavity.

    Why must Bill undergo emergency abdominal surgery?

    Bill has acute appendicitis.

    Why is Bill experiencing severe lower right abdominal pain?

    Plicae

    The folds of the mucosa of the small intestine that increase the surface area for absorption of nutrients are called ______

    Mucosa

    The innermost layer of the digestive tract insulates it from powerful enzymes and secretes digestive juices. It is known as the _______

    Pyloric Sphincter

    Which circle of muscle controls the passage of food into stomach?

    Submandibular

    Which of the following is not a salivary gland?

    Crown

    The visible portion of a tooth is called the ______

    Pharynx

    The _______ is part of both the digestive and the respiratory systems.

    Gingivae

    What supports and protects the teeth?

    Cecum

    Below the ileocecal valve is a blind pouch called the ______

    Sublingual

    Which salivary glands are the smallest of the salivary glands and are found under the sides of the tongue?

    Cecum

    The pouch at the proximal end of the large intestine is the _______

    Cirrhosis

    ________ is the long-term degenerative disease of the liver, commonly associated with chronic alcohol abuse, in which the lobes are covered with fibrous connective tissue.

    Deglutition

    _______ is the term that means swallowing.

    Mastication

    The term for chewing is ________

    Peristalsis

    Food is pushed along the esophagus by rhythmic, muscular contractions called _______

    Digestion

    To change food into simpler soluble molecules, physical and chemical changes occur; this process is known as ________

    Defecation

    ________ is the elimination from the body of those substances that are indigestible and cannot be absorbed.

    Cholesterol

    Gallstones are produced in the gallbladder by the precipitation of ________

    Fat; Duodenum

    The gallbladder stores bile, which is released when foods high in ________ enter the _______

    Digestion

    The process of breaking down complex solid foods into simpler soluble forms that can be absorbed by the body is called ______

    Bicarbonate Ions

    The pancreatic juice that neutralizes the acid content of the stomach is _____

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