So I'm like a kitty kat?
January 8, 2009 7:19 PM   Subscribe

What is a 'feline esophagus'?

I suffer from dysphagia (trouble swallowing) a lot like this person. I recently had an upper GI done and in the notes from that procedure, it was noted that my esophagus is 'feline'. I've googled this but the sites I go to are over my head - I don't understand the terminology being used to explain it. Can someone 'splain this to me as they would to a 3-year old?
posted by mattholomew to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Forgot to add: Yes, I asked my GP what 'feline esophagus' was. He didn't know, but referred me to a gastroenterologist. I've already made the appointment, I'm just really curious about what this term means.
posted by mattholomew at 7:23 PM on January 8, 2009

It means you intermittently have small folds (a millimeter or two) around the circumference of your esophagus. Supposedly it's called "feline esophagus" because on an x-ray it looks like a cat esophagus.

It probably makes it tough to swallow as food would get hung up on the folds.
posted by Justinian at 7:33 PM on January 8, 2009

Here's a plain language explanation.
posted by lee at 7:38 PM on January 8, 2009

Best answer: The standard human esophagus is "smooth muscle", meaning you have good muscle control all the way down and food does not get stuck. Cats have "ridges" down their esophagus. Humans can develop this condition; additionally a condition that can occur where you get channels down the esophagus as well, like vertical and horizontal ridges both. One reason this can occur is from eosinophilic esophagitis. I know because I have it and it sucks.
posted by arimathea at 7:59 PM on January 8, 2009

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