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Pyloric sphincter

Recommended video: Stomach mucosa and muscle layers [09:09]
Overview of the muscular layers and mucosa of the stomach.

The distal opening of the stomach, into the small intestine, is called the pyloric orifice. Movement of partially digested food (chyme) through the pyloric orifice is controlled by a valve, the pyloric sphincter.

The pyloric sphincter is formed by a thick circular layer of smooth muscle. Its activity is under autonomic nervous system control. Relaxation of the pyloric sphincter to allow emptying of the stomach contents into the duodenum occurs by action of the parasympathetic nervous system (Cranial nerve 10: Vagus nerve). Constriction of the pylorus and its sphincter is controlled by sympathetic innervation from the celiac ganglion (greater and lesser splanchnic nerves). The pylorus and pyloric sphincter receive blood supply from the gastric and pyloric arteries.

Terminology English: Pyloric sphincter
Latin: Sphincter pylori
Definition and function Acts as a valve between the stomach and duodenum. Controls the movement of partially digested food from the stomach into the small intestine.

Test your knowledge about the structure of the stomach with this interactive quiz.

Learn more about the anatomy of the stomach with this study unit:

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