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Respiratory System

Vocabulary and Study Section
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adenoids
Lymphatic tissue in the nasopharynx; pharyngeal tonsils.
alveolus (Plural: alveoli)
Air sac in the lung.
apex of the lung
Tip or uppermost portion of the lung. An apex is the tip of a structure. Apical means pertaining to "at" the apex.
base of the lung
Lower portion of the lung; from the Greek basis, foundation. Basilar means pertaining to the base.
bronchioles
Smallest branches of the bronchi. Terminal bronchioles lead to alveolar ducts.
bronchus (plural: bronchi)
Branch of the trachea "windpipe" that is a passageway into the lung; bronchial tube.
carbon dioxide (CO2)
Gas produced by body cells when oxygen and food combine; exhaled through the lungs.
cilia
Thin hairs attached to the mucous membrane epithelium lining the respiratory tract. They clear bacteria and foreign substances from the lung. Cigarette smoke impairs the function of cilia.
diaphragm
Muscle separating the chest and abdomen. It contracts and relaxes to make breathing possible.
epiglottis
Lid-like piece of cartilage that covers the larynx, preventing food from entering the larynx and trachea during swallowing.
expiration
Breathing out (exhalation).
glottis
Slit-like opening to the larynx.
hilum "of lung"
Midline region where the bronchi, blood vessels, and nerves enter and exit the lungs. Hilar means pertaining to "at" the hilum.
inspiration
Breathing in "inhalation".
larynx
Voice box; containing the vocal cords.
lobe
Division of a lung.
mediastinum
Region between the lungs in the chest cavity. It contains the trachea, heart, aorta, esophagus, and bronchial tubes.
nares
Openings through the nose carrying air into the nasal cavities.
oxygen (O2)
Gas that passes into the bloodstream at the lungs and travels to all body cells.
palatine tonsil
One of a pair of almond-shaped masses of lymphatic tissue in the oropharynx "palatine means pertaining to the roof of the mouth".
paranasal sinus
One of the air cavities in the bones near the nose.
parietal pleura
Outer fold of pleura lying closer to the ribs and chest wall.
pharynx
Throat; including the nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx.
pleura
Double-folded membrane surrounding each lung.
pleural cavity
Space between the folds of the pleura.
pulmonary parenchyma
Essential parts of the lung, responsible for respiration; bronchioles and alveoli.
respiration
Process of moving air into and out of the lungs; breathing
trachea
Windpipe.
visceral pleura
inner fold of pleura lying closer to the lung tissue.
anthracosis
Coal dust accumulation in the lungs.
asbestosis
Asbestos particles accumulate in the lungs.
bacilli ( singular: bacillus)
Rod-shaped bacteria "cause of tuberculosis".
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Chronic condition of persistent obstruction of air flow through bronchial tubes and lungs. COPD is caused by smoking, air pollution, chronic infection, and in a minority of cases, asthma. Patients with predominant chronic bronchitis COPD are referred to as "blue bloaters" "cyanotic, stocky build", whereas those with predominant emphysema are called "pink puffers" "short of breath, but with near-normal blood oxygen levels, and no change in skin color".
cor pulmonale
Failure of the right side of the heart to pump a sufficient amount of blood to the lungs because of underlying lung disease.
exudate
Fluid, cells, and other substances "pus" that filter from cells or capillaries ooze into lesions or areas of inflammation.
hydrothorax
Collection of fluid in the pleural cavity.
infiltrate
Collection of fluid or other material within the lung, as seen on a chest film, CT scan, or other radiologic image.
palliative
Relieving symptoms, but not curing the disease.
paroxysmal
Pertaining to a sudden occurrence, such as a spasm or seizure; oxysm/o means sudden.
pulmonary infarction
Area of necrosis "death of lung tissue".
purulent
Containing pus.
silicosis
Disease due to silica or glass dust in the lungs; occurs in mining occupations.