Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Coal Worker's Pneumoconiosis Anatomy

To better understand coal worker's pneumoconiosis, 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

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Coal Worker's Pneumoconiosis References
  1. De Vuyst P, Camus P. The past and present of pneumoconioses. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2000 Mar;6(2):151-6. [10741776]
  2. Petsonk EL, Daniloff EM, Mannino DM, Wang ML, Short SR, Wagner GR. Airway responsiveness and job selection: a study in coal miners and non-mining controls. Occup Environ Med. 1995 Nov;52(11):745-9. [8535494]
  3. Scott DF, Grayson RL, Metz EA. Disease and illness in U.S. mining, 1983-2001. J Occup Environ Med. 2004 Dec;46(12):1272-7.[15591979]
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