This consists of the greater part of the oesophagus, and includes the cardiac portion of the stomach. In the middle and lower-third of the specimen distended, tortuous veins can be seen. The normal venous drainage of the oesophagus includes a submucosal venous plexus running longitudinally, and a serosal plexus; both of these drain partly into the portal, partly into the systemic venous system forming, with the haemorrhoidal and periumbilical veins, an important link between the two systems. In portal hypertension, these venous plexuses dilate to form 'oesophageal varices', consisting of enormously dilated venous channels, which lie immediately beneath the mucosa and are prone to rupture. For a further discussion of this subject, see Allison 1959, Ann.Roy.Coll.Surgeons, 25:298.