The esophagus is a muscular, tube-like organ that assists the pharynx in guiding food to the stomach. The esophagus receives its blood supply from elastic vessels known as arteries that transport blood from the heart . Each esophageal artery originates from the frontal section of the aorta, the largest artery in the human body. Each artery of the esophagus, runs down its length, connecting to other arteries. One of these arteries connects with those of the inferior thyroid -- an extension of the subclavian artery. Another junctions with the left gastric artery, which extends from the abdominal aorta. Yet another runs the length of the esophagus and branches with the inferior phrenic arteries that provide the diaphragm with its blood supply. Each esophageal artery that runs along the tube-like structure forms what is known as an anastomosis. The anastomoses are simply tubular connections that attach the arteries to one another and the adjoining branches that run from the esophagus to other systems.
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In Depth: Esophageal artery