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Lung Anatomy

Your lungs take air in to give your body oxygen, which the body needs to work. Your lungs, like all the tissues in your body, are made up of billions of tiny, specialized cells. Old lung cells die and are replaced by new, identical lung cells. This natural process helps ensure healthy lungs.

  • The trachea (windpipe) provides a pathway for air to enter the lungs.

  • Lymph nodes are filters that help prevent illness and infection. They are part of the lymph system.

  • The pleural space is space between the lungs and chest wall. This space is lined on both sides by tissue called pleura.

  • Lobes are sections of each lung. The right lung has 3 lobes. The left lung has 2 lobes. The left lung is slightly smaller because the heart also takes up space on the left side of your chest.

  • Bronchial tubes are airway tubes from the trachea to the lungs.

  • The chest wall is formed by ribs and muscles.

  • Blood vessels are pathways that carry blood into the lungs and throughout the body.

  • The mediastinum is the space that holds the heart.

Front view of male chest showing trachea and lungs and inset showing bronchiole cells.

Online Medical Reviewer: Andrew D Schriber MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2022
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