Physiology of the gastrointestinal tract

Arieh Riskin*, Carlo Agostoni, Raanan Shamir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The gastrointestinal tract develops from the primitive digestive tube that originates from the dorsal part of the yolk sac. Initially the yolk sac is attached to the midgut of the digestive tube, but as early as the fourth week of gestation the gut becomes distinct from the yolk sac. The yolk sac is connected to the digestive tube through the omphalomesenteric (vitteline) duct. The dorsal mesentery separates the digestive tube from the dorsal wall of the embryo, and at this stage there is also a ventral mesentery that separates the anterior part from the ventral embryonic wall. Continuity with the exterior environment is formed only after the rupture of the buccopharyngeal and cloacal membranes. The anatomic formation of the esophagus, stomach, intestine, pancreas and liver is achieved by the fourth week through a series of evaginations, elongations and dilatations. Further development through cell proliferation, growth and morphogenesis then follows.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeonatology
Subtitle of host publicationA Practical Approach to Neonatal Diseases
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Milan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9788847014053
ISBN (Print)9788847014046
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012


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