AskDefine | Define pylorus

Dictionary Definition

pylorus n : a small circular opening between the stomach and the duodenum [also: pylori (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



pylorus (plural pylori)
  1. The opening in a vertebrate, including humans, at the lower end of the stomach that opens into the duodenum.
  2. A muscular or myovascular structure that controls the opening of an orifice or lumen of an organ.

Derived terms


opening between the stomach and duodenum

Extensive Definition

The pylorus (from Greek πυλωρος = "gate guard") is the region of the stomach that connects to the duodenum. It is divided in two parts:
The pyloric sphincter, or valve, is a strong ring of smooth muscle at the end of the pyloric canal and lets food pass from the stomach to the duodenum. It receives sympathetic innervation from celiac ganglion.

Medical significance

One medical condition associated with the pylorus is pyloric stenosis. In such conditions as stomach cancer, when tumours may partly block the pyloric canal, a special tube can be implanted surgically to connect the stomach to the duodenum to assist food to pass from one to the other. This tube is called a pyloric stent.

In popular culture

In John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, the protagonist complains frequently about his "valve", which opens or shuts according to stress levels.

Additional images


External links

  • - "Abdominal Cavity: The Stomach"
  • - "Stomach, Spleen and Liver: The Pylorus"
pylorus in Catalan: Pílor
pylorus in German: Pylorus
pylorus in Spanish: Píloro
pylorus in French: Pylore
pylorus in Italian: Piloro
pylorus in Hungarian: Gyomorkapu
pylorus in Latin: Pylorus
pylorus in Dutch: Maagportier
pylorus in Polish: Odźwiernik
pylorus in Portuguese: Piloro
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