Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Legionnaires Pneumonia Anatomy

To better understand Legionnaire's disease, 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: Mar 24, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Legionnaires Pneumonia References
  1. Campins M, Ferrer A, Callis L, Pelaz C, Cortes PJ, Pinart N, Vaque J. Nosocomial Legionnaire's disease in a children's hospital. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2000 Mar;19(3):228-34. [10749465]
  2. Lane G, Ferrari A, Dreher HM. Legionnaire's disease: a current update. Medsurg Nurs. 2004 Dec;13(6):409-14. [15714745]
  3. Tercelj-Zorman M, Seljak M, Stare J, Mencinger J, Rakovec J, Rylander R, Strle F. A hospital outbreak of Legionella from a contaminated water supply. Arch Environ Health. 2004 Mar;59(3):156-9. [16121906]
  4. Waterer GW, Baselski VS, Wunderink RG. Legionella and community-acquired pneumonia: a review of current diagnostic tests from a clinician's viewpoint. Am J Med. 2001 Jan;110(1):41-8. [11152864]
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