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Longitudinal Muscular Layer of Small intestine (Duodenum; Anterior)
Digestive System

Longitudinal Muscular Layer of Small intestine (Duodenum; Anterior)

Stratum musculare longitudinale intestini tenuis

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The cross-sectional microarchitecture of the small intestine demonstrates mucosa, submucosa, and muscular (inner circular and outer longitudinal) layers with a thin outer serosal covering.

The longitudinal muscular layer forms the outer muscle fibers of the muscular layer and its fibers are smooth muscle cells which are oriented roughly parallel to the long axis of the digestive canal.

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Key Features/Anatomical Relations

The smooth muscle cells of the muscular layer are controlled by inputs from the vagus nerve and the myenteric nerve plexus. This plexus of enteric nerves sits between the circular layer and the outermost longitudinal layer of muscle fibers in the muscularis externa.


The outer longitudinal muscular layer, together with the circular muscle layer, act to create rhythmic peristaltic contractions. This mixes chyme and pushes contents distally.

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Small Intestine

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Atrophy of the small intestine and a proportional decrease in villus height and crypt depth occur due to a decrease in the rate of crypt cell growth, and the result is a decrease in total mucosal thickness (51).

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