The middle segment of the SMALL INTESTINE, between the ILEUM and the DUODENUM. The jejunum is six to eight feet long and handles absorption of carbohydrates and proteins, as well as vitamins such as VITAMIN K and minerals such as iron.
The jejunum’s tissue composition and excellent blood supply allow it to be the source of tissue grafts for reconstruction of the pharynx and upper ESOPHAGUS after radical surgery to treat laryngeal CANCER (cancer of the THROAT). Health conditions that can involve the jejunum include INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD), CELIAC DISEASE, and MALABSORPTION disorders.
For further discussion of the jejunum and the small intestine within the context of gastrointestinal structure and function, please see the overview section “The Gastrointestinal System.”