The ileocaecal junction mucosal surface morphology of 5 horses and 1 donkey was examined using scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy. Based on differences in surface morphology, the junction could be divided into 4 distinct regions. The distal extremity of the ileum was characterized by the presence of typical finger-like villi followed by a narrow zone displaying short, stubby villi which gradually merged into a 3rd region representing the true transitional zone between the small and large intestine. In this region the villi fused, forming low ridges arranged in circular, semi-circular or S-shaped patterns. Many of the fused villi were indented at the tips giving these structures a doughnut-like appearance. The caecal portion of the ileocaecal junction formed the 4th region and was characterized by the absence of villi and the occurrence of regularly spaced crypt openings each surrounded by a slightly raised circular mound.
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