Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Lung Infection Pneumocystis Anatomy

To better understand pneumocystis 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 4, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Lung Infection Pneumocystis References
  1. Benfield TL, Helweg-Larsen J, Bang D, Junge J, Lundgren JD. Prognostic markers of short-term mortality in AIDS-associated Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Chest. 2001 Mar;119(3):844-51. [11243967]
  2. Morris A, Lundgren JD, Masur H, et al. Current epidemiology of Pneumocystis pneumonia. Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 Oct;10(10):1713-20. [15504255]
  3. Peterson JC, Cushion MT. Pneumocystis: not just pneumonia. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2005 Aug;8(4):393-8. [15996508]
  4. Wohl AR, Simon P, Hu YW, Duchin JS. The role of person-to-person transmission in an epidemiologic study of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. AIDS. 2002 Sep 6;16(13):1821-5. [12218395]
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