Ileum - Anatomy & Physiology

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Introduction

The ileum is the terminal portion of the small intestine and continues from the jejunum. It opens into the caecum at the ileocaecal orifice. The intestinal epithelium is mainly absorptive, with much less digestion occurring compared to the duodenum and the jejunum.

Structure

The boundary between the ileum and jejunum is arbitrarily distinguished by the position of the ileocaecal fold. It is more muscular and firmer than the jejunum and it terminates at the ileocaecocolic junction.

Vasculature

The cranial mesenteric artery supplies blood to the ileum.

Histology

Peyer's Patches, part of the mucosal associated lymphoid tissue (MALT), are present throughout the ileum and ileocaecal junction. They exist within the lamina propria and contain B and T lymphocytes. B lymphocytes exist in follicles.

Links

Click here for information on pathology of the Small and Large Intestines.

Click here for information on Peyer's Patches.


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