The esophageal secretions are entirely mucous in character and principally provide lubrication for swallowing. The main body of the esophagus is lined with many simple mucous glands. At the gastric end and to a lesserextent in the initial portion of the esophagus, there are also many compound mucous glands. The mucus secreted by the compound glands in the upper esopha-gus prevents mucosal excoriation by newly entering food, whereas the compound glands located near the esophagogastric junction protect the esophageal wall from digestion by acidic gastric juices that often reflux from the stomach back into the lower esophagus. Despite this protection, a peptic ulcer at times can still occur at the gastric end of the esophagus.
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