The development of stomach during the fetal period

Cetin E., Malas M. A. , Albay S., Cankara N.

SURGICAL AND RADIOLOGIC ANATOMY, vol.28, no.5, pp.438-446, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00276-006-0124-x
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.438-446
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


The objective of this study was to explore the fetal development of the stomach, its morphology and relationship with neighboring structures. The study is carried out in 2003 using 160 human embryos and fetuses (81 males and 79 females) aged between 9 and 40 weeks of gestation. None of the cases had any external pathology or anomaly. Its topographical localization and relationship with surrounding structures were revealed with anatomical dissections. Width and height of the stomach, lengths of the greater and lesser curvatures, the angle between horizontal and vertical axes of the stomach and types of stomach were established. During the fetal life stomach was most commonly located above the transverse axis passing through the umbilicus, in left and right hypochondrium (81%). There were significant differences among trimester groups with respect to the localization of the stomach in the quadrants (P < 0.001). There were no significant sex differences in parameters. After the second trimester, the height of the stomach increased more than the width of the stomach and anterior abdominal height. The angle of stomach decreased from 100 degrees to 50 degrees throughout the fetal period. During the fetal period, wide angles stomach was more common in the first(f) and second trimesters while acute-angled stomach was more common in the third trimester and term fetuses. Diagnosis and treatment of fetal anomalies and pathologies of the stomach requires knowledge of fetal anatomy of the stomach. Data acquired in this study are believed to contribute to the studies of obstetrics, perinatology, forensic medicine and fetal pathology on fetal development of the stomach, and diagnosis and treatment of its anomalies, pathologies, and variations.