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Lung Anatomy

Front view of male chest showing trachea and lungs and inset showing bronchiole cells.Your lungs take air in to give your body oxygen, which the body needs to work. Your lungs, like all the tissues in your body, are made up of billions of tiny specialized cells. Old lung cells die and are replaced by new, identical lung cells. This natural process helps ensure healthy lungs.

The lungs are part of the lower respiratory system. Here are the parts of this system:

  • Trachea. This is also called the windpipe. It provides a pathway for air to enter the lungs.

  • Lymph nodes. These act as filters and help prevent illness and infection. They are part of the lymph system.

  • Pleural space. This is the area between the lungs and the chest wall. This space is lined on both sides by tissue called pleura.

  • Lobes. These are sections of each lung. A normal pair of lungs has five lobes.

  • Bronchial tubes. These are airway tubes from the trachea to the lungs.

  • Chest wall. The chest wall surrounds the lungs. It is made up of ribs and muscles.

  • Blood vessels. These are pathways that carry blood into the lungs and throughout the body.

  • Mediastinum. This is the space between the lungs. It holds the heart.

© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.