Gastric Antrum: Definition, Location and Medical Conditions that Affect This Part of the Stomach

This part of the stomach is generally called the pyloric antrum.

It is the end of the stomach that closes during the digestion of food and opens again to allow the passage of digested food when the process is complete.

Regions of the stomach

The gastric antrum is one of the regions that comprise the stomach.

The stomach is divided into five regions:

  1. The cardia is the first part of the stomach below the esophagus. It contains the cardiac sphincter, a thin muscular ring that helps prevent stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus.
  2. The fundus is the rounded area to the left of the cardia and below the diaphragm.
  3. The body is the most significant and central part of the stomach. This is where the food mixes and begins to break down.
  4. The antrum is the lower part of the stomach. The antrum holds the spoiled food until it is ready to be released into the small intestine. It is sometimes called a pyloric antrum.
  5. The pylorus is the part of the stomach that connects to the small intestine. This region includes the pyloric sphincter, a thick ring of muscle that acts as a valve to control the emptying of stomach contents (chyme) into the duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The pyloric sphincter also prevents the contents of the duodenum from returning to the stomach.

The general definition of an antrum is a cavity or chamber, and the term is used almost exclusively to refer to a part of the anatomy of an animal or person.

The pyloric antrum is the only one found in the body of vertebrates, and four are most commonly found among these types of animals.

Any cavity or chamber found in a living creature can be called an antrum, with only common examples among many species given a specific name.


The word pylorus comes from the Greek word for gate guard due to its function of trapping food within the body. This gate prevents food from passing through it before it can be properly digested. This gate is closed by a smooth muscle valve.

Some medical conditions can contract this part of the stomach, causing nutritional problems.

These problems are usually detected early due to vomiting and constant hunger and can be fixed by surgical procedures to enlarge the pylorus.

The gastric antrum has acquired considerable interest over the years for its role in gastric emptying and the humoral phase of acid secretion.

It comprises approximately 15 to 20 percent of the total stomach; it extends from the pylorus to the angular notch along the lesser curvature and a variable distance along the greater curvature to an inconsistent point opposite the aperture.

The junction between the antrum and the body of the stomach is known as the border or transition zone, the width of which is usually 2 cm. or less in man. The antrum consists of a thick muscular wall lined by mucosa, predominantly with mucus-secreting glands.

These short, tortuous glands are composed primarily of pyloric mucous cells that extend from the bottom to the neck region of the glands.

The latter contains similar mucinous secreting cells that cannot be distinguished from cells of the body’s mucous neck and fundic areas.

These cells can be distinguished from the significant cells of the pyloric gland by their slight staining characteristics.

Medical conditions affecting the gastric antrum

Several different medical conditions can affect the antrum within the body. Most of these conditions will be specific to a particular type of club and not to the others.

These conditions include:


Inflammation of the stomach is known as gastritis. It can affect the gastric antrum of the stomach. Some people do not experience gastritis symptoms. When symptoms develop, the most common are:

  • Sickness.
  • Vomiting
  • Cramps in the stomach
  • Indigestion.

Gastritis can have many different causes, including:

  • Smoking cigarettes.
  • Extreme stress
  • Another injury to the stomach.

Treatment will vary depending on the cause.

Peptic ulcers

Peptic ulcers can also affect the gastric antrum. When this happens, they are often called antral ulcers. These develop along the lining within this portion of the stomach.

The most common symptom of an antral ulcer is burning or abdominal pain that usually occurs right after eating. Sometimes it is even worse while eating.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Weightloss.
  • Sickness.
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in the stool.

This is a severe condition. Seek immediate medical attention.