|Schematic diagram of the gastrointestinal tract, highlighting the duodenum.|
|Gray's||subject #248 1169|
|Artery||Inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery, Superior pancreaticoduodenal artery|
|Nerve||celiac ganglia, vagus |
|Precursor||Foregut (1st and 2nd parts), Midgut (3rd and 4th part)|
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2008)|
The duodenum // is the first section of the small intestine in most higher vertebrates, including mammals, reptiles, and birds. In fish, the divisions of the small intestine are not as clear, and the terms anterior intestine or proximal intestine may be used instead of duodenum. In mammals the duodenum may be the principal site for iron absorption.
The duodenum precedes the jejunum and ileum and is the shortest part of the small intestine, where most chemical digestion takes place. The name duodenum is from the Latin duodenum digitorum, or "twelve fingers' breadth".
The duodenum is largely responsible for the breakdown of food in the small intestine, using enzymes. The villi of the duodenum have a leafy-looking appearance, a histologically identifiable structure. Brunner's glands, which secrete mucus, are found in the duodenum only. The duodenum wall is composed of a very thin layer of cells that form the muscularis mucosae. The duodenum is almost entirely retroperitoneal. It has three parts and each parts has its own significance.
The duodenum also regulates the rate of emptying of the stomach via hormonal pathways. Secretin and cholecystokinin are released from cells in the duodenal epithelium in response to acidic and fatty stimuli present there when the pylorus opens and releases gastric chyme into the duodenum for further digestion. These cause the liver and gall bladder to release bile, and the pancreas to release bicarbonate and digestive enzymes such as trypsin, lipase and amylase into the duodenum as they are needed.
The duodenum is divided into four sections for the purposes of description. The first three sections curve in a "C"-loop concavity in which the head of the pancreas lies. Only the first 2 cm of the superior part is mobile (covered by peritoneum) – the distal 3 cm of the first part along with the rest of the duodenum is retroperitoneal (immobile).
First part 
The first (superior) part begins as a continuation of the duodenal end of the pylorus. From here it passes laterally (right), superiorly and posteriorly, for approximately 5 cm, before making a sharp curve inferiorly into the superior duodenal flexure (the end of the superior part). It is the only intraperitoneal portion of the duodenum. Relations:
Second part 
The second (descending) part of the duodenum begins at the superior duodenal flexure. It passes inferiorly to the lower border of vertebral body L3, before making a sharp turn medially into the inferior duodenal flexure (the end of the descending part).
The pancreatic duct and common bile duct enter the descending duodenum, commonly known together as the hepatopancreatic duct (or pancreatic duct in the United States), through the major duodenal papilla (known as Ampulla of Vater). This part of the duodenum also contains the minor duodenal papilla, the entrance for the accessory pancreatic duct (of Santorini). The junction between the embryological foregut and midgut lies just below the major duodenal papilla.
Third part 
The third (inferior/horizontal) part of the duodenum begins at the inferior duodenal flexure and passes transversely to the left, crossing the right ureter, right testicular/ovarian vessels, inferior vena cava, abdominal aorta and the vertebral column.
Fourth part 
The fourth (ascending) part passes superiorly, either anterior to, or to the left of, the aorta, until it reaches the inferior border of the body of the pancreas. Then, it curves anteriorly and terminates at the duodenojejunal flexure where it joins the jejunum. The duodenojejunal flexure is surrounded by a peritoneal fold containing muscle fibres: the ligament of Treitz.
Blood supply 
The duodenum receives arterial blood from two different sources. The transition between these sources is important as it demarcates the foregut from the midgut. Proximal to the 2nd part of the duodenum (approximately at the major duodenal papilla – where the bile duct enters) the arterial supply is from the gastroduodenal artery and its branch the superior pancreaticoduodenal artery. Distal to this point (the midgut) the arterial supply is from the superior mesenteric artery (SMA), and its branch the inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery supplies the 3rd and 4th sections. The superior and inferior pancreaticoduodenal arteries (from the gastroduodenal artery and SMA respectively) form an anastomotic loop between the celiac trunk and the SMA; so there is potential for collateral circulation here.
Lymphatic drainage 
The lymphatic vessels follow the arteries in a retrograde fashion. The anterior lymphatic vessels drain into the pancreatoduodenal lymph nodes located along the superior and inferior pancreatoduodenal arteries and then into the pyloric lymph nodes (along the gastroduodenal artery). The posterior lymphatic vessels pass posterior to the head of the pancreas and drain into the superior mesenteric lymph nodes. Efferent lymphatic vessels from the duodenal lymph nodes ultimately pass into the celiac lymph nodes.
Additional images 
- Physiology at MCG 6/6ch2/s6ch2_30
- Guillaume, Jean; Praxis Publishing, Sadasivam Kaushik, Pierre Bergot, Robert Metailler (2001). Nutrition and Feeding of Fish and Crustaceans. Springer. p. 31. ISBN 1-85233-241-7, 9781852332419 Check
|isbn=value (help). Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- Latunde-Dada GO, Van der Westhuizen J, Vulpe CD et al. (2002). "Molecular and functional roles of duodenal cytochrome B (Dcytb) in iron metabolism". Blood Cells Mol. Dis. 29 (3): 356–60. doi:10.1006/bcmd.2002.0574. PMID 12547225.
- "Duodenal Anatomy".
- van Gijn J, Gijselhart JP (2011). "Treitz and his ligament.". Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 155 (8). PMID 21557825.
|Look up duodenum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|