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Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
 
and the hind-gut there exists for a time a wide opening into the yolk-sac, but the latter is gradually reduced to a small pear-shaped sac (sometimes termed the umbilical vesicle), and the channel of communication is at the same time narrowed and elongated to form a tube called the vitelline duct.
 
10. The Yolk-sac
 
  The yolk-sac (Figs. 22 and 23) is situated on the ventral aspect of the embryo; it is lined by entoderm, outside of which is a layer of mesoderm. It is filled with fluid, the vitelline fluid, which possibly may be utilized for the nourishment of the embryo during the earlier stages of its existence. Blood is conveyed to the wall of the sac by the primitive aortæ, and after circulating through a wide-meshed capillary plexus, is returned by the vitelline veins to the tubular heart of the embryo. This constitutes the vitelline circulation, and by means of it nutritive material is absorbed from the yolk-sac and conveyed to the embryo. 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. 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 three per cent. of cases its proximal part persists as a diverticulum from the small intestine, Meckel’s diverticulum, which is situated about three or four feet above the ileocolic 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.


FIG. 22– Human embryo of 2.6 mm. (His.) (See enlarged image)



FIG. 23– Human embryo from thirty-one to thirty-four days. (His.) (See enlarged image)

 
11. Development of the Fetal Membranes and Placenta
 

The Allantois (Figs. 25 to 28).—The allantois arises as a tubular diverticulum of the posterior part of the yolk-sac; when the hind-gut is developed the allantois is carried backward with it and then opens into the cloaca or terminal part of the hind-gut: it grows out into the body-stalk, a mass of mesoderm which lies below and around the tail end of the embryo. The diverticulum is lined by entoderm and covered by mesoderm, and in the latter are carried the allantoic or umbilical vessels.

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