Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Lung Infection Bacterial Anatomy

To better understand bacterial pneumonia, 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 Lung Infection Bacterial References
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  2. Musher DM, Alexandraki I, Graviss EA: Bacteremic and nonbacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia. A prospective study. Medicine (Baltimore) 2000 Jul; 79(4): 210-21. [10941350]
  3. Read RC: Evidence-based medicine: empiric antibiotic therapy in community-acquired pneumonia. J Infect 1999 Nov; 39(3): 171-8. [10714789]
  4. Ruiz-Gonzalez A, Falguera M, Vives M: Community-acquired pneumonia: development of a bedside predictive model and scoring system to identify the aetiology. Respir Med 2000 May; 94(5): 505-10. [10868716]
  5. Shorr AF. Preventing pneumonia: the role for pneumococcal and influenza vaccines. Clin Chest Med. 2005 Mar;26(1):123-34. [15802174]
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