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duodenum , gen. duodeni , pl. duodena (du-o-de´num, du-od´e-num; -od´e-na, -de´na) [NA]

The first division of the small intestine, about 25 cm or 12 fingerbreadths (hence the name) in length, extending from the pylorus to the junction with the jejunum at the level of the first or second lumbar vertebra on the left side. It is divided into the superior part, the first part of which is the duodenal cap, the descending part, into which the bile and pancreatic ducts open, the horizontal (inferior) part and the ascending part, terminating at the duodenojejunal junction. [Mediev. L. fr. L. duodeni, twelve]


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