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At the end of the fourth week the yolk-sac presents the appearance of a small pear-shaped vesicle (umbilical vesicle) opening into the digestive tube by a long narrow tube, the vitelline duct, also known as the omphalomesenteric duct.
The vesicle can be seen in the after-birth as a small, somewhat oval-shaped body whose diameter varies from 1 mm. to 5 mm.; it is situated between the amnion and the chorion and may lie on or at a varying distance from the placenta.
As a rule the duct undergoes complete obliteration during the seventh week, but in about two per cent of cases its proximal part persists as a diverticulum from the small intestine, Meckel's diverticulum, which is situated about two feet above the ileocecal junction, and may be attached by a fibrous cord to the abdominal wall at the umbilicus.
Sometimes a narrowing of the lumen of the ileum is seen opposite the site of attachment of the duct.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Vitelline_duct". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|