Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Abscess Lung Anatomy

To better understand lung abscess, it helps to understand the anatomy of the lungs.

Inside the chest, the windpipe, or trachea, divides into two smaller tubes: the right bronchus and the left bronchus. The right bronchus enters the right lung and the left bronchus enters the left lung. The right bronchus and left bronchus branch into smaller and smaller tubes.

The smallest tubes, called bronchioles, end in tiny air sacs, called alveoli. Blood flows very close to the walls of the alveoli. Oxygen and carbon dioxide pass between the air and the bloodstream through the wall of the alveoli.

Anatomy examples:

  • The lung and airways
  • The bronchioles and alveoli
  • The lungs
  • Pulmonary vessels

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Abscess Lung References
  1. Chan PC, Huang LM, Wu PS, Chang PY, Yang TT, Lu CY, Lee PI, Chen JM, Lee CY, Chang LY. Clinical management and outcome of childhood lung abscess: a 16-year experience. J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2005 Jun;38(3):183-8. [15986068]
  2. Mansharamani N, Balachandran D, Delaney D, Zibrak JD, Silvestri RC, Koziel H. Lung abscess in adults: clinical comparison of immunocompromised to non-immunocompromised patients. Respir Med. 2002 Mar;96(3):178-85. [11905552]
  3. Mansharamani NG, Koziel H. Chronic lung sepsis: lung abscess, bronchiectasis, and empyema. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2003 May;9(3):181-5. [12682562]
  4. Yen CC, Tang RB, Chen SJ, Chin TW. Pediatric lung abscess: a retrospective review of 23 cases. J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2004 Feb;37(1):45-9. [15060687]
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