The position of the esophagus is shown. The relationship of esophagus to left atrium is the basis of transesophageal echocardiography. The lower esophagus deviates to the left as it approaches the cardia of the stomach.
The relationship of descending aorta to esophagus is shown. Note that the esophagus is immediately anterior to aorta at the esophageal hiatus, allowing identification of the esophagus on abdominal exploration when there is no nasogastric tube present.
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