Cardias: Definition, Function, Glands, Types and Associated Disorders

It is the part of the stomach attached to the esophagus.

The human stomach is divided into four sections, beginning in the gastric cardia. The cardia is where the contents of the esophagus empty into the stomach.

Also called  gastroesophageal junction , the gastric cardia is the part closest to the heart. The lower esophageal sphincter is located near the cardia.

The lower esophageal sphincter superimposes the cardia. This contrasts with the ” upper esophageal sphincter ” contained in the hypopharynx (area extending from the base of the tongue into the cricoid cartilage).

Cardias function

The cardia intervenes in the anti-reflux mechanism within the distal portion of the esophagus and the proximal segment of the stomach.

The heart glands secrete mucus, which lines the stomach and protects it from self-digestion by helping to dilute acids and enzymes. The cardias works automatically.

Cardia glands

They are found in the opening where the esophagus joins the stomach. Here only heart glands are found and mainly secrete mucus. They are less in number than the other gastric glands and are located more superficially in the mucosa.

There are two kinds:

  • Tubular simple with short conduits.
  • Racemosous compounds that look like Brunner duodenal glands.

Disorders of the cardia

A malformation of the cardia causes gastric reflux . Regular and excessive consumption of alcohol can cause cancer of the cardia, which prevents the ingestion of solid foods.

Tumors of the cardia

The general term ” carcinoma of the gastric cardia ” includes three different types of adenocarcinomas:

  • Carcinoma of the distal esophagus (Type I).
  • True carcinoma of the cardia (Type II).
  • Subcardial gastric carcinoma (Type III).

The preoperative classification of these carcinomas of the gastroesophageal junction is based mainly on radiological and endoscopic examination.

Carcinomas of the cardia are considered to share characteristics of both types of gastric and esophageal cancer. One type resembles more distal stomach cancer (Type A). Another type (Type B) resembles esophageal adenocarcinoma.

In order to distinguish cardiac carcinomas from other adenocarcinomas that arise in the vicinity of the esophagogastric junction, a classification system has been introduced from the surgical point of view, and is now well established and increasingly used throughout the world. world.

The location of the cancer can also affect the treatment options . For example, cancers that start at the gastroesophageal junction are staged and treated in the same way as esophageal cancers.

A cancer that begins in the cardia of the stomach but then grows in the gastroesophageal junction is also staged and treated as a cancer of the esophagus.