Root of the lung

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Root of the lung
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Mediastinal surface of right lung.
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Mediastinal surface of left lung.
Latin radix pulmonis
Gray's p.1097

A little above the middle of the mediastinal surface of each lung, and nearer its posterior than its anterior border, is its root, by which the lung is connected to the heart and the trachea.

The root is formed by the bronchus, the pulmonary artery, the pulmonary veins, the bronchial arteries and veins, the pulmonary plexuses of nerves, lymphatic vessels, bronchial lymph glands, and areolar tissue, all of which are enclosed by a reflection of the pleura.

The root of the right lung lies behind the superior vena cava and part of the right atrium, and below the azygos vein. That of the left lung passes beneath the aortic arch and in front of the descending aorta; the phrenic nerve, pericardiacophrenic artery and vein, and the anterior pulmonary plexus, lie in front of each, and the vagus and posterior pulmonary plexus behind each; below each is the pulmonary ligament.

The chief structures composing the root of each lung are arranged in a similar manner from before backward on both sides, viz., the upper of the two pulmonary veins in front; the pulmonary artery in the middle; and the bronchus, together with the bronchial vessels, behind.

From above downward, on the two sides, their arrangement differs, thus:

On the right side their position is—eparterial bronchus, pulmonary artery, hyparterial bronchus, pulmonary veins, but on the left side their position is—pulmonary artery, bronchus, pulmonary veins.

The lower of the two pulmonary veins, is situated below the bronchus, at the apex or lowest part of the hilus.

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This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.