Pleurae and Lungs

Gross Anatomy

Pleural Cavities, Lungs


Anatomy Tables for Today's Topic


Pleurae, Lungs and Bronchial Tree
Nerves of the Thoracic Cavity
Arteries of the Thoracic Cavity
Veins of the Thoracic Cavity
Lymphatics of the Lung and Bronchial Tree



Pleurae, Lungs and Bronchial Tree

OrganLocation/DescriptionNotes
pleura serous membrane lining the pleural cavity there are two types of pleura: visceral pleura covers the lungs, parietal pleura lines the inner surfaces of the walls of pleural cavity; parietal pleura is sensitive to pain but visceral pleura is not sensitive to pain
pleura, cervical parietal serous membrane lining the pleural cavity which extends above the level of the 1st rib into the root of the neck cervical parietal pleura is continuous inferiorly with the costal and mediastinal parietal pleurae; it is reinforced by a specialization of scalene fascia (called Sibson's fascia or suprapleural membrane); also known as: cupula or cervical dome of pleura
pleura, costal parietal serous membrane lining the pleural cavity on the inner surfaces of the ribs, costal cartilages, and intercostal mm. costal parietal pleura is continuous anteriorly with the mediastinal parietal pleura at the costomediastinal reflection; it is continuous posteriorly with the mediastinal parietal pleural at the vertebral bodies; it is continuous inferiorly with the diaphragmatic parietal pleura at the costodiaphragmatic reflection; it is continuous superiorly with the cervical parietal pleura at the level of the 1st rib
pleura, diaphragmatic parietal serous membrane lining the pleural cavity on the superior surface of the diaphragm diaphragmatic parietal pleura is continuous superiorly with the costal parietal pleura at the costodiaphragmatic reflection; it is continuous superiorly with the mediastinal pleura at the inferomedial borders of the pleural cavities
pleura, mediastinal parietal serous membrane lining the pleural cavity on the lateral surface of the mediastinum mediastinal parietal pleura is continuous anteriorly with the costal parietal pleura at the costomediastinal reflection; it is continuous inferiorly with the diaphragmatic pleura at the inferomedial borders of the pleural cavities; it is continuous posteriorly with the costal parietal pleura lateral to the vertebral bodies; it is continuous superiorly with the cervical pleura at the level of the 1st rib
pleura, visceral serous membrane lining the surfaces of the lungs visceral pleura extends into the oblique and horizontal fissures of the lungs; it does not have pain fibers
pulmonary ligament fold of pleura located below the root of the lung pulmonary ligament is where the visceral pleura and the mediastinal parietal pleura are continuous with each other
cupula serous membrane lining the pleural cavity which extends above the level of the 1st rib into the root of the neck cupular pleura is continuous inferiorly with the costal and mediastinal parietal pleurae; it is reinforced by a specialization of scalene fascia (called Sibson's fascia or suprapleural membrane); also known as: cervical parietal pleura or cervical dome of pleura
bronchi the air conducting passages of the lungs bronchi may be classified as primary, secondary (lobar), and tertiary (segmental)
bronchus, primary first branch of the air conducting system arising from the bifurcation of the trachea at T4/T5 intervertebral disc paired, right and left; one primary bronchus enters the hilus of each lung; the right primary bronchus is shorter, larger in diameter and more vertically oriented than the left so that aspirated foreign bodies tend to lodge in the right primary bronchus
bronchus, secondary a branch of the air conducting system arising from the primary bronchus there are 3 secondary bronchi in the right lung: upper, middle, lower; there are 2 secondary bronchi in the left lung: upper, lower; also known as: lobar bronchi
bronchus, tertiary a branch of the air conducting system arising from the secondary (lobar) bronchus there are 10 tertiary bronchi in the right lung: branching from the right superior lobar bronchus - apical, anterior, posterior; branching from the right middle lobar bronchus - medial, lateral; branching from the right inferior lobar bronchus - superior, anterior basal, posterior basal, medial basal, lateral basal; there are 8 tertiary bronchi in the left lung: branching from the left superior lobar bronchus - apicoposterior, anterior; branching from the lingular bronchus (off of the superior lobar bronchus) - superior lingular, inferior lingular; branching from the inferior lobar bronchus - superior, anteromedial basal, posterior basal, lateral basal; also known as: segmental bronchi
bronchus, segmental a branch of the air conducting system arising from the secondary (lobar) bronchus there are 10 tertiary bronchi in the right lung: branching from the right superior lobar bronchus - apical, anterior, posterior; branching from the right middle lobar bronchus - medial, lateral; branching from the right inferior lobar bronchus - superior, anterior basal, posterior basal, medial basal, lateral basal; there are 8 tertiary bronchi in the left lung: branching from the left superior lobar bronchus - apicoposterior, anterior; branching from the lingular bronchus (off of the superior lobar bronchus) - superior lingular, inferior lingular; branching from the inferior lobar bronchus - superior, anteromedial basal, posterior basal, lateral basal; also known as: tertiary bronchi
carina keel-shaped cartilage lying within the tracheal bifurcation carina trachealis is an important landmark during endoscopy of the bronchial tree
lung the portion of the respiratory system where exchange of gasses occurs between the air and the blood; located in the thoracic cavity paired; right lung is divided into three lobes: superior, middle and inferior; left lung has two lobes: superior and inferior
fissure, oblique deep groove in the surface of the lung that separates the upper lobe from the lower lobe (both lungs), and the middle lobe from the lower lobe (right lung) oblique fissure extends from the level of the T3 vertebra posteriorly to the 6th costochondral junction anteriorly
fissure, horizontal deep groove in the surface of the lung that separates the middle lobe from the upper lobe (right lung only) horizontal fissure extends from the 5th rib at the mid-axillary line along the 4th rib to the sternum anteriorly
lobe, inferior the portion of the lung supplied by the inferior lobar bronchus inferior lobe of the right lung: possesses 5 bronchopulmonary segments - superior, anterior basal, posterior basal, medial basal, lateral basal; inferior lobe of the left lung: possesses 4 bronchopulmonary segments - superior, anteromedial basal, posterior basal, lateral basal
lobe, middle the portion of the right lung supplied by the middle lobar bronchus middle lobe is found in the right lung only; it possesses 2 bronchopulmonary segments: medial and lateral; lingula of the inferior lobe of the left lung is equivalent to the middle lobe of the right lung
lobe, superior the portion of the lung supplied by the superior lobar bronchus superior lobe of the right lung: possesses three bronchopulmonary segments - apical, anterior and posterior; superior lobe of the left lung: possesses four bronchopulmonary segments - apicoposterior, anterior, superior lingular, inferior lingular

Nerves of the Thoracic Cavity

NerveSourceBranchesMotorSensoryNotes
phrenic n. ventral primary rami of spinal nerves C3-C5 (cervical plexus) no named branches skeletal muscle of the respiratory diaphragm diaphragmatic pleura; some fibers contributed to the pericardium and to the adjacent mediastinal and costal pleurae phrenic n. crosses the anterior surface of the anterior scalene m.
plexus, pulmonary continuous with the cardiac plexus; thoracic visceral nn.; pulmonary brs. of vagus no named branches parasympathetic: smooth muscle & glands of the bronchial tree; sympathetic: vascular smooth muscle of the lungs none pulmonary plexus is located along the pulmonary vessels and primary bronchi in the root of the lung
vagus n. medulla: dorsal motor nucleus (GVE preganglionic parasympathetic); inferior ganglion (GVA); nucleus ambiguus (SVE); superior ganglion (GSA); inferior ganglion(SVA) auricular br., pharyngeal br., superior laryngeal, superior and inferior cervical cardiac brs., recurrent laryngeal n., thoracic cardiac brs., brs. to the pulmonary plexus, brs. to the esophageal plexus, anterior and posterior vagal trunks SVE: intrinsic muscles of the larynx, pharynx (except stylopharyngeus), and palate (except tensor veli palatini); GVE: smooth muscle of the respiratory tree & gut (proximal to the left colic flexure), heart; secretomotor: mucous glands of the larynx, respiratory tree, pharynx and gut; secretomotor to digestive glands GSA: skin of the external auditory meatus; GVA: viscera of head, neck, thorax & abdomen proximal to the left colic flexure; SVA: taste from the epiglottis also known as: CN X, 10th cranial nerve; the vagus n. passes through the jugular foramen to exit the posterior cranial fossa; vagus means "wanderer" in reference to its extensive distribution to the body cavities

Arteries of the Thoracic Cavity

ArterySourceBranchesSupplyNotes
bronchial, left descending thoracic aorta right bronchial a. (occasionally) lower trachea, bronchial tree there are usually two left bronchial aa.
bronchial, right 3rd right posterior intercostal no named branches lower trachea, bronchial tree right bronchial a. may arise from the left bronchial a.
pulmonary a. pulmonary trunk right: superior lobar a. to the superior lobe and inferior lobar a. to the middle and inferior lobes; left: superior lobar a. to the superior lobe, inferior lobar a. to the inferior lobe lungs each pulmonary a. carries deoxygenated blood to the hilum of one lung
pulmonary trunk right ventricle right pulmonary a., left pulmonary a. lungs the pulmonary trunk carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to the right and left pulmonary aa.; each pulmonary a. carries deoxygenated blood to the hilum of one lung; bronchial aa. supply oxygenated blood to the tissues of the lung as far distally in the bronchial tree as the respiratory bronchioles

Veins of the Thoracic Cavity

VeinTributariesDrains IntoRegion DrainedNotes
pulmonarylobar vv.left atriumlungsusually two pulmonary vv. per side, superior & inferior; all empty into the left atrium

Lymphatics of the Lung and Bronchial Tree

StructureLocationAfferents fromEfferents toRegions drainedNotes
bronchomediastinal trunk along the course of the brachiocephalic v. union of efferents from the paratracheal nodes, parasternal nodes and anterior mediastinal nodes left: thoracic duct; right: right lymphatic duct thoracic wall and viscera; medial part of the mammary gland right bronchomediastinal trunk receives lymph from the lower lobe of the left lung; bronchomediastinal trunk may drain directly into the venous system on either side
bronchopulmonary nodes hilum of the lung pulmonary nodes tracheobronchial nodes lung bronchopulmonary nodes are also known as: hilar nodes
hilar nodes at hilum of lung pulmonary nodes tracheobronchial nodes lung also known as: bronchopulmonary nodes
mediastinal nodes, anterior along the course of the brachiocephalic vessels and aorta lymphatic vessels from the anterior mediastinum and middle mediastinum bronchomediastinal trunk thymus, anterior respiratory diaphragm, pericardium, part of the heart anterior mediastinal nodes are from 2 to 5 in number
mediastinal nodes, posterior along azygos system of veins and esophagus viscera of the posterior mediastinum and chest wall thoracic duct, inferior tracheobronchial nodes, superior tracheobronchial nodes posterior mediastinum, posterior aspect of the heart and pericardium, posterior part of the respiratory diaphragm posterior mediastinal nodes drain primarily to the thoracic duct
paratracheal nodes coursing along the lateral surface of the trachea and esophagus superior tracheobronchial nodes bronchomediastinal trunk lungs, trachea, upper esophagus, the part of the larynx below the vocal folds paratracheal nodes are an important group of nodes in cases of pulmonary infection or lung cancer; also known as: tracheal nodes
pulmonary nodes within the lung parenchyma lymphatic vessels from the parenchyma of the lung bronchopulmonary (hilar) nodes lung parenchyma, bronchial tree within the lungs pulmonary nodes are located along the larger bronchi of the lung
tracheal nodes coursing along the lateral surface of the trachea and esophagus superior tracheobronchial nodes bronchomediastinal trunk lungs, trachea, upper esophagus, the part of the larynx below the vocal folds tracheal nodes are an important group of nodes in cases of pulmonary infection or lung cancer; also known as: paratracheal nodes
tracheobronchial nodes along the trachea, around the tracheal bifurcation and primary bronchi lymphatic vessels from the lung bronchomediastinal lymph trunk lungs, visceral pleura, bronchi, thoracic part of trachea, left side of heart, esophagus, posterior mediastinum tracheobronchial nodes may be divided into five groups: paratracheal (tracheal), superior tracheobronchial, inferior tracheobronchial, bronchopulmonary (hilar), pulmonary
tracheobronchial nodes, inferior inferior to tracheal bifurcation bronchopulmonary nodes, left side inferior tracheobronchial nodes drain into right inferior tracheobronchial nodes right superior tracheobronchial nodes lower lobes of the lungs; middle mediastinum; posterior mediastinum left inferior tracheobronchial nodes drain to the right side
tracheobronchial nodes, superior superolateral to the tracheal bifurcation bronchopulmonary (hilar) nodes paratracheal (tracheal) nodes lungs, middle mediastinum, posterior mediastinum inferior tracheobronchial nodes drain lymph from the lower lobe of the left lung to the right superior tracheobronchial nodes

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Some of the material presented in these tables is contained in the book:
MedCharts Anatomy by Thomas R. Gest and Jaye Schlesinger
Published by ILOC, Inc., New York. Copyright 1995.

Content of these tables has been edited for use in this course by Patrick W. Tank, Ph.D.
Copyright 2005, Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Unauthorized use is prohibited.