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Cloaca (embryology)

cloaca anatomy, cloaca in human embryology
The cloaca is a structure in the development of the urinary and reproductive organs

The hind-gut is at first prolonged backward into the body-stalk as the tube of the allantois; but, with the growth and flexure of the tail-end of the embryo, the body-stalk, with its contained allantoic tube, is carried forward to the ventral aspect of the body, and consequently a bend is formed at the junction of the hind-gut and allantois

This bend becomes dilated into a pouch, which constitutes the endodermal cloaca; into its dorsal part the hind-gut opens, and from its ventral part the allantois passes forward

At a later stage the Wolffian duct and Müllerian duct open into its ventral portion

The cloaca is, for a time, shut off from the anterior by the cloacal membrane, formed by the apposition of the ectoderm and endoderm, and reaching, at first, as far forward as the future umbilicus

Behind the umbilicus, however, the mesoderm subsequently extends to form the lower part of the abdominal wall and pubic symphysis

By the growth of the surrounding tissues the cloacal membrane comes to lie at the bottom of a depression, which is lined by ectoderm and named the ectodermal cloaca


  • 1 Clinical significance
  • 2 Additional images
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links

Clinical significance

A birth defect can arise known as a persistent cloaca where the rectum, vagina, and urinary tract fuse to create a common channel or cloaca

A rare birth defect which leaves much of the abdominal organs exposed is known as cloacal exstrophy[2]

Additional images


This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 1109 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy 1918

  1. ^ "Partitioning of Cloaca" Retrieved 2010-03-20 
  2. ^ Sadler, T 2010 Langman's medical embryology 11th ed ed Philadelphia: Lippincott William & Wilkins p 245 ISBN 9780781790697 CS1 maint: Extra text link

External links

  • Swiss embryology from UL, UB, and UF ugenital/genitinterne04

  • Anatomy portal

cloaca anatomy, cloaca anatomy bursa of fabricius, cloaca anatomy fetal, cloaca in embryology, cloaca in human embryology

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