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Structures of Pulmonary System

Airways, Pulmonary circulation, chest wall, Lungs: Lobes (3 on right, 2 on left), Mediastinum

Conducting airways

Upper airways: nasopharynx, oropharynx
Larynx-vocal cords: connect upper and lower airways
Lower airways: trachea, bronchi, terminal bronchioles

Gas-exchange airways

Respiratory bronchioles, alveolar ducts
Alveoli: epithelial cells Type 1 & 2 alveolar cells

Type 1 alveolar cells

Provide structure, contain macrophages and can inflame

Type 2 alveolar cells

produce surfactant which lubricates and decreases surface tension


Mechanical movement of gas or air into and out of the lungs
Minute volume-normal is 1L/min. Ventilatory rate multiplied by volume of air per breath
Alveolar ventilaion-carbonic acid leaving lungs as CO2

Major muscles of inspiration

diaphragm- flat on inspiration
external intercostals-overused in COPD (barrel chest)

Accessory muscles of inspiration

sternocleidomastoid muscle
scalene muscles

accessory muscles of expiratory

When coughing they push air out
abdominal intercostal muscles
internal intercostals

4 steps of gas trasnport

1. alveolar ventilation
2. diffusion of O2 from alveoli to capillary blood
3. Perfusion of systemic blood with oxygenated blood
4. diffusion of O2 from systemic into the tissues

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