Gastro-esophageal junction

The cardia is the anatomical term for the part of the stomach attached to the esophagus.  The cardia begins immediately distal to the z-line of the gastroesophageal junction, where the squamous epithelium of the esophagus gives way to the columnar epithelium of the gastrointestinal tract. (wikipedia)

Virtual Microscopy       

Note the abrupt transition from the mucosa of the esophagus with its stratified squamous epithelium to the glandular mucosa of the stomach. The cardiac gastric glands are present only in a very small segment of the stomach mucosa adjacent to this junction. They are mucous glands comprised of a HOMOGENEOUS population of pale-staining columnar cells with a “bubbly” supranuclear cytoplasm. As you move further into the stomach, the cardiac glands are very quickly replaced by gastric proper (or fundic) glands which, consist of a notably HETEROGENEOUS mixture of basophilic chief cells and eosinophilic parietal cells (from U of Mich Histology)

Virtual Microscopy (NYU slide collection)

 

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