DAVID MUSHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID MUSHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
An inlet patch refers to changes in the proximal (cervical) esophagus that are probably from birth in which the lining of the esophagus is covered with tissue that is similar to that found in the stomach. Acid and enzyme (pepsin) secreting cells may be found and intestinal metaplasia as is seen in Barretts esophagus may also occur. Gastric (stomach) carcinoma may also occur in this region. Whether this is truly congenital or is related to chronic reflux of acid and enzymes from the stomach and through the distal esophagus is not known.
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