||It has been suggested that Lingula of left lung be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since September 2013.|
|Detailed diagram of the lungs|
|Gray's||subject #240 1093-1096|
The human lungs are the organs of respiration in humans. Humans have two lungs, a right lung and a left lung. The right lung consists of three lobes while the left lung is slightly smaller consisting of only two lobes (the left lung has a "cardiac notch" allowing space for the heart within the chest). Together, the lungs contain approximately 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) of airways and 300 to 500 million alveoli, having a total surface area of about 70 square metres (750 sq ft) to 100 square metres (1076.39 sq ft) (8,4 x 8,4 m) in adults — roughly the same area as one side of a tennis court. Furthermore, if all of the capillaries that surround the alveoli were unwound and laid end to end, they would extend for about 992 kilometres (616 mi). The lungs together weigh approximately 2.3 kilograms (5.1 lb), with the right lung weighing more than the left.
The pleural cavity is the potential space between the two serous membranes, (pleurae) of the lungs; the parietal pleura, lining the inner wall of the thoracic cage, and the visceral pleura, lining the organs themselves–the lungs. The respiratory system includes the conducting zone, which consists of all parts of the airway that conducts air into the lungs.
The parenchyma of the lung, only relates to the functional alveolar tissue, but the term is often used to refer to all lung tissue, including the respiratory bronchioles, alveolar ducts, terminal bronchioles, and all connecting tissues.
The lungs are located within the thoracic cavity, on either side of the heart and close to the backbone. They are enclosed and protected by the ribcage. The left lung has a lateral indentation which is shaped to accommodate the position of the heart. The right lobe is a little shorter than the left lung and this is to accommodate the positioning of the liver. Both lungs have broad bases enabling them to rest on the diaphragm without causing displacement.
The trachea divides at a junction–the carina of trachea, to give a right bronchus and a left bronchus, and this is usually at the level of the fifth thoracic vertebra. The conducting zone contains the trachea, the bronchi, the bronchioles, and the terminal bronchioles. The respiratory system contains the respiratory bronchioles, the alveolar ducts, and the alveoli. The conducting zone and the respiratory components, except the alveoli, are made up of airways with gas exchange only taking place in the alveoli of the respiratory system. The conducting zone is reinforced with cartilage in order to hold open the airways. Air is warmed to 37 °C (99 °F), humidified and cleansed by the conduction zone; particles from the air being removed by the cilia which are located on the walls of all the passageways. The lungs are surrounded and protected by the rib cage.
The right lung is divided into three lobes (as opposed to two lobes on the left), superior, middle, and inferior, by two interlobular fissures:
The right lung has a higher volume, total capacity and weight, than that of the left lung. Although it is 5cm shorter due to the diaphragm rising higher on the right side to accommodate the liver, it is broader than the left lung due to the cardiac notch of the left lung.
- The lower, oblique fissure, separates the inferior from the middle and superior lobes, and is closely aligned with the fissure in the left lung. Its direction is, however, more vertical, and it cuts the lower border about 7.5 cm. behind its anterior extremity.
- The upper horizontal fissure, separates the superior from the middle lobe. It begins in the lower fissure near the posterior border of the lung, and, running horizontally forward, cuts the anterior border on a level with the sternal end of the fourth costal cartilage; on the mediastinal surface it may be traced backward to the hilum.
The middle lobe is the smallest lobe of the right lung. It is wedge-shaped, and includes the part of the anterior border, and the anterior part of the base of the lung. The superior and inferior lobes are similar to those of the left lung (which lacks a middle lobe.)
On the mediastinal surface, immediately above the hilum, is an arched furrow which accommodates the azygos vein; while running superiorly, and then arching laterally some little distance below the apex, is a wide groove for the superior vena cava and right innominate vein; behind this, and proximal to the apex, is a furrow for the innominate artery.
Behind the hilum and the attachment of the pulmonary ligament is a vertical groove for the esophagus; this groove becomes less distinct below, owing to the inclination of the lower part of the esophagus to the left of the middle line.
In front and to the right of the lower part of the esophageal groove is a deep concavity for the extrapericardiac portion of the thoracic part of the inferior vena cava.
The left lung is divided into two lobes, an upper and a lower, by the oblique fissure, which extends from the costal to the mediastinal surface of the lung both above and below the hilum. There is also an area of the upper lobe of the lung, specific to the left lung called the lingula, meaning little tongue and is often referred to as the tongue in the lung.
As seen on the surface, this fissure begins on the mediastinal surface of the lung at the upper and posterior part of the hilum, and runs backward and upward to the posterior border, which it crosses at a point about 6 cm. below the apex.
It then extends downward and forward over the costal surface, and reaches the lower border a little behind its anterior extremity, and its further course can be followed upward and backward across the mediastinal surface as far as the lower part of the hilum.
On the mediastinal surface, immediately above the hilum, is a well-marked curved furrow produced by the aortic arch, and running upward from this toward the apex is a groove accommodating the left subclavian artery; a slight impression in front of the latter and close to the margin of the lung lodges the left innominate vein.
Behind the hilum and pulmonary ligament is a vertical furrow produced by the descending aorta, and in front of this, near the base of the lung, the lower part of the esophagus causes a shallow impression.
The respiratory system's alveoli are the sites of gas exchange with blood.
- The sympathetic nervous system via noradrenaline acting on the beta receptors causes bronchodilation.
- The parasympathetic nervous system via acetylcholine, which acts on the M-3 muscarinic receptors, maintains the resting tone of the bronchiolar smooth muscle. This action is related, although considered distinct from bronchoconstriction.
- Many other non-autonomic nervous and biochemical stimuli, including carbon dioxide and oxygen, are also involved in the regulation process.
Modification of substances
Mediastinal surface of left lung.
- Tomco, Rachel. "Lungs and Mechanics of Breathing". AnatomyOne. Amirsys, Inc. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- Notter, Robert H. (2000). Lung surfactants: basic science and clinical applications. New York, N.Y: Marcel Dekker. p. 120. ISBN 0-8247-0401-0. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
- medilexicon.com > Medical Dictionary - 'Parenchyma Of Lung' In turn citing: Stedman's Medical Dictionary. 2006
- Walter F., PhD. Boron (2004). Medical Physiology: A Cellular And Molecular Approaoch. Elsevier/Saunders. ISBN 1-4160-2328-3. Page 605