Tremendous strides have been made during the past decade in diagnosing and treating the various diseases that the esophagus is heir to. That such conditions are not rare, but are rather frequent, is evident by the voluminous literature that has accumulated recently on this subject. These diseases are of interest to the general practitioner and specialist alike, and it is with this thought in mind that the following discussion is presented.
Some points in the anatomy of the esophagus bear emphasis. It is well to remember that the esophagus per se is 10 in. (25.4 cm.) long, extending from the 6th cervical vertebra (cricoid cartilage level) to the 10th dorsal vertebra (esophageal hiatus level). The esophagologist, however, does not measure from the sixth cervical vertebra, but rather from the alveolar margin, which adds an additional 6 in. (15.24 cm.) to the actual length of the esophagus; thus he