Module 13: The Respiratory System

Lesson 2: Respiratory Anatomy: The Lungs

Giải Phẫu Hệ Hô Hấp: Phổi

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Mỗi bài học (lesson) bao gồm 4 phần chính: Thuật ngữ, Luyện Đọc, Luyện Nghe, và Bàn Luận.
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Dưới đây là danh sách những thuật ngữ Y khoa của module The Respiratory System.
Khái quát được số lượng thuật ngữ sẽ xuất hiện trong bài đọc và nghe sẽ giúp bạn thoải mái tiêu thụ nội dung hơn. Sau khi hoàn thành nội dung đọc và nghe, bạn hãy quay lại đây và luyện tập (practice) để quen dần các thuật ngữ này. Đừng ép bản thân phải nhớ các thuật ngữ này vội vì bạn sẽ gặp và ôn lại danh sách này trong những bài học (lesson) khác của cùng một module.

Medical Terminology: The Respiratory System

process of adjustment that the respiratory system makes due to chronic exposure to high altitudes
acute mountain sickness (AMS)
condition that occurs a result of acute exposure to high altitude due to a low partial pressure of oxygen
(plural = alae) small, flaring structure of a nostril that forms the lateral side of the nares
alar cartilage
cartilage that supports the apex of the nose and helps shape the nares; it is connected to the septal cartilage and connective tissue of the alae
alveolar dead space
air space within alveoli that are unable to participate in gas exchange
alveolar duct
small tube that leads from the terminal bronchiole to the respiratory bronchiole and is the point of attachment for alveoli
alveolar macrophage
immune system cell of the alveolus that removes debris and pathogens
alveolar pore
opening that allows airflow between neighboring alveoli
alveolar sac
cluster of alveoli
small, grape-like sac that performs gas exchange in the lungs
anatomical dead space
air space present in the airway that never reaches the alveoli and therefore never participates in gas exchange
tip of the external nose
apneustic center
network of neurons within the pons that stimulate the neurons in the dorsal respiratory group; controls the depth of inspiration
atmospheric pressure
amount of force that is exerted by gases in the air surrounding any given surface
Bohr effect
relationship between blood pH and oxygen dissociation from hemoglobin
Boyle’s law
relationship between volume and pressure as described by the formula: P1V1 = P2V2
portion of the external nose that lies in the area of the nasal bones
bronchial bud
structure in the developing embryo that forms when the laryngotracheal bud extends and branches to form two bulbous structures
bronchial tree
collective name for the multiple branches of the bronchi and bronchioles of the respiratory system
branch of bronchi that are 1 mm or less in diameter and terminate at alveolar sacs
decrease in the size of the bronchiole due to relaxation of the muscular wall
increase in the size of the bronchiole due to contraction of the muscular wall
tube connected to the trachea that branches into many subsidiaries and provides a passageway for air to enter and leave the lungs
bound form of hemoglobin and carbon dioxide
carbonic anhydrase (CA)
enzyme that catalyzes the reaction that causes carbon dioxide and water to form carbonic acid
cardiac notch
indentation on the surface of the left lung that allows space for the heart
central chemoreceptor
one of the specialized receptors that are located in the brain that sense changes in hydrogen ion, oxygen, or carbon dioxide concentrations in the brain
chloride shift
facilitated diffusion that exchanges bicarbonate (HCO3–) with chloride (Cl–) ions
conducting zone
region of the respiratory system that includes the organs and structures that provide passageways for air and are not directly involved in gas exchange
cricoid cartilage
portion of the larynx composed of a ring of cartilage with a wide posterior region and a thinner anterior region; attached to the esophagus
Dalton’s law
statement of the principle that a specific gas type in a mixture exerts its own pressure, as if that specific gas type was not part of a mixture of gases
dorsal respiratory group (DRG)
region of the medulla oblongata that stimulates the contraction of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles to induce inspiration
dorsum nasi
intermediate portion of the external nose that connects the bridge to the apex and is supported by the nasal bone
leaf-shaped piece of elastic cartilage that is a portion of the larynx that swings to close the trachea during swallowing
(also, exhalation) process that causes the air to leave the lungs
expiratory reserve volume (ERV)
amount of air that can be forcefully exhaled after a normal tidal exhalation
external nose
region of the nose that is easily visible to others
external respiration
gas exchange that occurs in the alveoli
portion of the posterior oral cavity that connects the oral cavity to the oropharynx
fibroelastic membrane
specialized membrane that connects the ends of the C-shape cartilage in the trachea; contains smooth muscle fibers
forced breathing
(also, hyperpnea) mode of breathing that occurs during exercise or by active thought that requires muscle contraction for both inspiration and expiration
endoderm of the embryo towards the head region
functional residual capacity (FRC)
sum of ERV and RV, which is the amount of air that remains in the lungs after a tidal expiration
opening between the vocal folds through which air passes when producing speech
Haldane effect
relationship between the partial pressure of oxygen and the affinity of hemoglobin for carbon dioxide
Henry’s law
statement of the principle that the concentration of gas in a liquid is directly proportional to the solubility and partial pressure of that gas
concave structure on the mediastinal surface of the lungs where blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, nerves, and a bronchus enter the lung
increased rate and depth of ventilation due to an increase in oxygen demand that does not significantly alter blood oxygen or carbon dioxide levels
increased ventilation rate that leads to abnormally low blood carbon dioxide levels and high (alkaline) blood pH
(also, inhalation) process that causes air to enter the lungs
inspiratory capacity (IC)
sum of the TV and IRV, which is the amount of air that can maximally be inhaled past a tidal expiration
inspiratory reserve volume (IRV)
amount of air that enters the lungs due to deep inhalation past the tidal volume
internal respiration
gas exchange that occurs at the level of body tissues
intra-alveolar pressure
(intrapulmonary pressure) pressure of the air within the alveoli
intrapleural pressure
pressure of the air within the pleural cavity
laryngeal prominence
region where the two lamine of the thyroid cartilage join, forming a protrusion known as “Adam’s apple”
portion of the pharynx bordered by the oropharynx superiorly and esophagus and trachea inferiorly; serves as a route for both air and food
bud forms from the lung bud, has a tracheal end and bulbous bronchial buds at the distal end
cartilaginous structure that produces the voice, prevents food and beverages from entering the trachea, and regulates the volume of air that enters and leaves the lungs
lingual tonsil
lymphoid tissue located at the base of the tongue
organ of the respiratory system that performs gas exchange
lung bud
median dome that forms from the endoderm of the foregut
one of three recesses (superior, middle, and inferior) in the nasal cavity attached to the conchae that increase the surface area of the nasal cavity
(plural = nares) opening of the nostrils
nasal bone
bone of the skull that lies under the root and bridge of the nose and is connected to the frontal and maxillary bones
nasal septum
wall composed of bone and cartilage that separates the left and right nasal cavities
portion of the pharynx flanked by the conchae and oropharynx that serves as an airway
olfactory pit
invaginated ectodermal tissue in the anterior portion of the head region of an embryo that will form the nasal cavity
portion of the pharynx flanked by the nasopharynx, oral cavity, and laryngopharynx that is a passageway for both air and food
oxygen–hemoglobin dissociation curve
graph that describes the relationship of partial pressure to the binding and disassociation of oxygen to and from heme
(Hb–O2) bound form of hemoglobin and oxygen
palatine tonsil
one of the paired structures composed of lymphoid tissue located anterior to the uvula at the roof of isthmus of the fauces
paranasal sinus
one of the cavities within the skull that is connected to the conchae that serve to warm and humidify incoming air, produce mucus, and lighten the weight of the skull; consists of frontal, maxillary, sphenoidal, and ethmoidal sinuses
parietal pleura
outermost layer of the pleura that connects to the thoracic wall, mediastinum, and diaphragm
partial pressure
force exerted by each gas in a mixture of gases
peripheral chemoreceptor
one of the specialized receptors located in the aortic arch and carotid arteries that sense changes in pH, carbon dioxide, or oxygen blood levels
pharyngeal tonsil
structure composed of lymphoid tissue located in the nasopharynx
region of the conducting zone that forms a tube of skeletal muscle lined with respiratory epithelium; located between the nasal conchae and the esophagus and trachea
concave surface of the face that connects the apex of the nose to the top lip
pleural cavity
space between the visceral and parietal pleurae
pleural fluid
substance that acts as a lubricant for the visceral and parietal layers of the pleura during the movement of breathing
pneumotaxic center
network of neurons within the pons that inhibit the activity of the neurons in the dorsal respiratory group; controls rate of breathing
pulmonary artery
artery that arises from the pulmonary trunk and carries deoxygenated, arterial blood to the alveoli
pulmonary plexus
network of autonomic nervous system fibers found near the hilum of the lung
pulmonary surfactant
substance composed of phospholipids and proteins that reduces the surface tension of the alveoli; made by type II alveolar cells
pulmonary ventilation
exchange of gases between the lungs and the atmosphere; breathing
quiet breathing
(also, eupnea) mode of breathing that occurs at rest and does not require the cognitive thought of the individual
residual volume (RV)
amount of air that remains in the lungs after maximum exhalation
respiratory bronchiole
specific type of bronchiole that leads to alveolar sacs
respiratory cycle
one sequence of inspiration and expiration
respiratory epithelium
ciliated lining of much of the conducting zone that is specialized to remove debris and pathogens, and produce mucus
respiratory membrane
alveolar and capillary wall together, which form an air-blood barrier that facilitates the simple diffusion of gases
respiratory rate
total number of breaths taken each minute
respiratory volume
varying amounts of air within the lung at a given time
respiratory zone
includes structures of the respiratory system that are directly involved in gas exchange
region of the external nose between the eyebrows
thoracic wall compliance
ability of the thoracic wall to stretch while under pressure
thyroid cartilage
largest piece of cartilage that makes up the larynx and consists of two lamine
tidal volume (TV)
amount of air that normally enters the lungs during quiet breathing
total dead space
sum of the anatomical dead space and alveolar dead space
total lung capacity (TLC)
total amount of air that can be held in the lungs; sum of TV, ERV, IRV, and RV
total pressure
sum of all the partial pressures of a gaseous mixture
tube composed of cartilaginous rings and supporting tissue that connects the lung bronchi and the larynx; provides a route for air to enter and exit the lung
trachealis muscle
smooth muscle located in the fibroelastic membrane of the trachea
transpulmonary pressure
pressure difference between the intrapleural and intra-alveolar pressures
true vocal cord
one of the pair of folded, white membranes that have a free inner edge that oscillates as air passes through to produce sound
type I alveolar cell
squamous epithelial cells that are the major cell type in the alveolar wall; highly permeable to gases
type II alveolar cell
cuboidal epithelial cells that are the minor cell type in the alveolar wall; secrete pulmonary surfactant
movement of air into and out of the lungs; consists of inspiration and expiration
ventral respiratory group (VRG)
region of the medulla oblongata that stimulates the contraction of the accessory muscles involved in respiration to induce forced inspiration and expiration
vestibular fold
part of the folded region of the glottis composed of mucous membrane; supports the epiglottis during swallowing
visceral pleura
innermost layer of the pleura that is superficial to the lungs and extends into the lung fissures
vital capacity (VC)
sum of TV, ERV, and IRV, which is all the volumes that participate in gas exchange
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Dưới đây là các bài văn nằm ở bên trái. Ở bên phải là các bài luyện tập (practice) để đánh giá khả năng đọc hiểu của bạn. Sẽ khó khăn trong thời gian đầu nếu vốn từ vựng của bạn còn hạn chế, đặc biệt là từ vựng Y khoa. Hãy kiên nhẫn và đọc nhiều nhất có kể, lượng kiến thức tích tụ dần sẽ giúp bạn đọc thoải mái hơn.
A major organ of the respiratory system, each lung houses structures of both the conducting and respiratory zones. The main function of the lungs is to perform the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide with air from the atmosphere. To this end, the lungs exchange respiratory gases across a very large epithelial surface area—about 70 square meters—that is highly permeable to gases.
The lungs are pyramid-shaped, paired organs that are connected to the trachea by the right and left bronchi; on the inferior surface, the lungs are bordered by the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle located at the base of the lungs and thoracic cavity. The lungs are enclosed by the pleurae, which are attached to the mediastinum. The right lung is shorter and wider than the left lung, and the left lung occupies a smaller volume than the right. The cardiac notch is an indentation on the surface of the left lung, and it allows space for the heart (Figure 1). The apex of the lung is the superior region, whereas the base is the opposite region near the diaphragm. The costal surface of the lung borders the ribs. The mediastinal surface faces the midline.

Each lung is composed of smaller units called lobes. Fissures separate these lobes from each other. The right lung consists of three lobes: the superior, middle, and inferior lobes. The left lung consists of two lobes: the superior and inferior lobes. A bronchopulmonary segment is a division of a lobe, and each lobe houses multiple bronchopulmonary segments. Each segment receives air from its own tertiary bronchus and is supplied with blood by its own artery. Some diseases of the lungs typically affect one or more bronchopulmonary segments, and in some cases, the diseased segments can be surgically removed with little influence on neighboring segments. A pulmonary lobule is a subdivision formed as the bronchi branch into bronchioles. Each lobule receives its own large bronchiole that has multiple branches. An interlobular septum is a wall, composed of connective tissue, which separates lobules from one another.
The blood supply of the lungs plays an important role in gas exchange and serves as a transport system for gases throughout the body. In addition, innervation by the both the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems provides an important level of control through dilation and constriction of the airway.

A. Blood Supply

The major function of the lungs is to perform gas exchange, which requires blood from the pulmonary circulation. This blood supply contains deoxygenated blood and travels to the lungs where erythrocytes, also known as red blood cells, pick up oxygen to be transported to tissues throughout the body. The pulmonary artery is an artery that arises from the pulmonary trunk and carries deoxygenated, arterial blood to the alveoli. The pulmonary artery branches multiple times as it follows the bronchi, and each branch becomes progressively smaller in diameter. One arteriole and an accompanying venule supply and drain one pulmonary lobule. As they near the alveoli, the pulmonary arteries become the pulmonary capillary network. The pulmonary capillary network consists of tiny vessels with very thin walls that lack smooth muscle fibers. The capillaries branch and follow the bronchioles and structure of the alveoli. It is at this point that the capillary wall meets the alveolar wall, creating the respiratory membrane. Once the blood is oxygenated, it drains from the alveoli by way of multiple pulmonary veins, which exit the lungs through the hilum.

B. Nervous Innervation

Dilation and constriction of the airway are achieved through nervous control by the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. The parasympathetic system causes bronchoconstriction, whereas the sympathetic nervous system stimulates bronchodilation. Reflexes such as coughing, and the ability of the lungs to regulate oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, also result from this autonomic nervous system control. Sensory nerve fibers arise from the vagus nerve, and from the second to fifth thoracic ganglia. The pulmonary plexus is a region on the lung root formed by the entrance of the nerves at the hilum. The nerves then follow the bronchi in the lungs and branch to innervate muscle fibers, glands, and blood vessels.
Each lung is enclosed within a cavity that is surrounded by the pleura. The pleura (plural = pleurae) is a serous membrane that surrounds the lung. The right and left pleurae, which enclose the right and left lungs, respectively, are separated by the mediastinum. The pleurae consist of two layers. The visceral pleura is the layer that is superficial to the lungs, and extends into and lines the lung fissures (Figure 2). In contrast, the parietal pleura is the outer layer that connects to the thoracic wall, the mediastinum, and the diaphragm. The visceral and parietal pleurae connect to each other at the hilum. The pleural cavity is the space between the visceral and parietal layers.

The pleurae perform two major functions: They produce pleural fluid and create cavities that separate the major organs. Pleural fluid is secreted by mesothelial cells from both pleural layers and acts to lubricate their surfaces. This lubrication reduces friction between the two layers to prevent trauma during breathing, and creates surface tension that helps maintain the position of the lungs against the thoracic wall. This adhesive characteristic of the pleural fluid causes the lungs to enlarge when the thoracic wall expands during ventilation, allowing the lungs to fill with air. The pleurae also create a division between major organs that prevents interference due to the movement of the organs, while preventing the spread of infection.

OpenStax. (2022). Anatomy and Physiology 2e. Rice University. Retrieved June 15, 2023. ISBN-13: 978-1-711494-06-7 (Hardcover) ISBN-13: 978-1-711494-05-0 (Paperback) ISBN-13: 978-1-951693-42-8 (Digital). License: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Access for free at

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  1. The lungs are the major organs of the respiratory system and are responsible for performing gas exchange.
  2. The lungs are paired and separated into lobes.
  3. The left lung consists of two lobes, whereas the right lung consists of three lobes.
  4. Blood circulation is very important, as blood is required to transport oxygen from the lungs to other tissues throughout the body.
  5. The function of the pulmonary circulation is to aid in gas exchange.
  6. The pulmonary artery provides deoxygenated blood to the capillaries that form respiratory membranes with the alveoli.
  7. Then, the pulmonary veins return newly oxygenated blood to the heart for further transport throughout the body.
  8. The lungs are innervated by the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, which coordinate the bronchodilation and bronchoconstriction of the airways.
  9. The lungs are enclosed by the pleura, a membrane that is composed of visceral and parietal pleural layers.
  10. The space between these two layers is called the pleural cavity.
  11. The mesothelial cells of the pleural membrane create pleural fluid.
  12. This fluid serves as both a lubricant to reduce friction during breathing.
  13. It additionally functions as an adhesive, binding the lungs to the thoracic wall to facilitate lung movement during ventilation.
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