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The lungs are the organs of respiration taking up the bulk of the thorax.

Left lung

This has only two fully developed lobes.

Right lung

This has three lobes.

Clinical implications
Bronchial tree

It is useful to know the direction of the bronchi to each lobe of each lung in order to advise patients with infection in one lobe what posture they should adopt to try to improve drainage from it. For bronchoscopy the segmental bronchial orientation is relevant.


Main features:

  • Alveoli lined by Type 1 and Type 2 pneumocytes
  • Macrophages
  • Capillaries


Control of respiration

Muscles employed in respiration

Gas exchange

Enzymatic reactions

Lung transplant

Transplantation of the heart and lungs may be performed in some cases.

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