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Rev Hosp Clin Fac Med Sao Paulo. 1998 Mar-Apr;53(2):55-60.

A morpho-quantitative study of the myenteric ganglia throughout the human digestive tract.

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Department of Anatomy, University of São Paulo, Brazil.


We have examined the sizes of nerve cells present in the myenteric plexus in the human esophagus, stomach, duodenum and sigmoid colon using a nonhistochemical method (Giemsa) in laminar preparations of the muscularis externa. The collagen and elastic system related fibers in the myenteric ganglia were also qualitatively evaluated. The major mean of perikaryal area was observed in the esophagus (489.97 micron 2 +/- 212.35 micron 2) and the minor in the sigmoid colon (241.64 micron 2 +/- 122.62 micron 2). There were no significant differences between the mean areas of the myenteric neurons in the stomach (284.77 micron 2 +/- 134.70 micron 2) and in the duodenum (291.39 micron 2 +/- 157.86 micron 2). In all regions a ganglionic capsule of collagen fibers with thin septa surrounding isolated or grouped neurons was observed. The elastic and elastic-related fibers (elaunin and oxytalan fibers) were also present in both the ganglionic capsule and inside the ganglia. There were no differences among the regions. These data suggest that factors such as size of nerve cells and structural aspects of the ganglionic capsule are not related with the incidence of megaesophagus and megacolon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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