Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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BPD Anatomy

To better understand bronchopulmonary dysplasia, 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: Nov 3, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed BPD References
  1. Grier DG, Halliday HL. Management of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in infants: guidelines for corticosteroid use. Drugs. 2005;65(1):15-29. [15610049]
  2. Northway WH Jr: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia: twenty-five years later. Pediatrics 1992 May; 89(5 Pt 1): 969-73. [1579413]
  3. Pierce MR, Bancalari E: The role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Pediatr Pulmonol 1995 Jun; 19(6): 371-8. [7567218]
  4. Van Marter LJ. Strategies for preventing bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2005 Apr;17(2):174-80. [15800407]
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