Gastro-oesophageal junction

Dr Henry Knipe and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

The gastro-oesophageal junction (GOJ) (also known as the oesophagogastric junction) is the part of the gastrointestinal tract where the oesophagus and stomach are joined.

Gross anatomy

The GOJ is normally mostly intra-abdominal and is 3-4 cm in length. To some extent, the oesophagus slides in and out of the abdomen during respiration and when there is elevation of intra-abdominal pressure.


It is comprised of two histologically distinct areas:

  • stratified squamous epithelium (same as the oesophageal folds superiorly)
  • columnar epithelium (same as the gastric rugae inferiorly)

Where these two distinct areas join, there is an abrupt but non-linear change in the mucosal layer: this is called the Z-line. The non-linear, zig zagging nature of the Z-line explains that the GOJ can be several centimetres in length, while the histological transition from oesophageal folds to gastric rugae is abrupt.

Anatomy: Abdominopelvic
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Article information

rID: 5639
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Gastro-oesophogeal junction (GOJ)
  • Gastro-oesophageal junction (GOJ)
  • Gastro-oesophogeal junction

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