Respiratory System

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ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY REVIEW

THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM

Breathing In mammals, the diaphragm divides the body cavity into the
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During inspiration (inhaling),
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The external intercostal muscles contract, lifting the ribs up and out. The diaphragm contracts, drawing it down .

abdominal cavity, which contains the viscera (e.g., stomach and intestines) and the thoracic cavity, which contains the heart and lungs.


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During expiration (exhaling), these processes are reversed and the natural elasticity of the lungs returns them to their normal volume. At rest, we breath 15–18 times a minute exchanging about 500 ml of air.

The inner surface of the thoracic cavity and the outer surface of the lungs are lined with pleural membranes which adhere to each other. If air is introduced between them, the adhesion is broken and the natural elasticity of the lung causes it to collapse. This can occur from trauma. Because of this adhesion, any action that increases the volume of the thoracic cavity causes the lungs to expand, drawing air into them.


In more vigorous expiration,
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The internal intercostal muscles draw the ribs down and inward The wall of the abdomen contracts pushing the stomach and liver upward.

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Central Control of Breathing

The rate of cellular respiration (and hence oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production) varies with level of activity. Vigorous exercise can increase by 20–25 times the demand of the tissues for oxygen. This is met by increasing the rate and depth of breathing. It is a rising concentration of carbon dioxide — not a declining concentration of oxygen — that plays the major role in regulating the ventilation of the lungs. Certain cells in the medulla oblongata are very sensitive to a drop in pH. As the CO2 content of the blood rises above normal levels, the pH drops [CO2 + H2O → HCO3− + H+], and the medulla oblongata responds by increasing the number and rate of nerve impulses that control the action of the intercostal muscles and diaphragm. Respiratory Volumes and Capacities Under normal conditions, the average adult takes 12 to 15 breaths a minute. An instrument called a spirometer is used to measure the volume of air that moves into and out of the lungs, and the process of taking the measurements is called spirometry. The tidal volume (TV), about 500 mL, is the amount of air inspired during normal, relaxed breathing. The inspiratory reserve volume (IRV), about 3,100 mL, is the additional air that can be forcibly inhaled after the inspiration of a normal tidal volume. The expiratory reserve volume (ERV), about 1,200 mL, is the additional air that can be forcibly exhaled after the expiration of a normal tidal volume. Residual volume (RV), about 1,200 mL, is the volume of air still remaining in the lungs after the expiratory reserve volume is exhaled.

 The functional residual capacity (FRC), about

2,400 mL, is the amount of air remaining in the lungs after a normal expiration (FRC = RV + ERV).

Nose & Nasal Cavities The framework of the nose consists of bone and cartilage. Air enters the nasal cavity from the outside through two openings: the nostrils or external nares. The openings from the nasal cavity into the pharynx are the internal nares. Paranasal Sinuses Paranasal sinuses are air-filled cavities in the frontal, maxilae, ethmoid, and sphenoid bones. They function to reduce the weight of the skull, to produce mucus, and to influence voice quality by acting as resonating chambers. Pharynx The pharynx, commonly called the throat, is a passageway that extends from the base of the skull to the level of the sixth cervical vertebra. It serves both the respiratory and digestive systems by receiving air from the nasal cavity and air, food, and water from the oral cavity. Inferiorly, it opens into the larynx and esophag us.

Summing specific lung volumes produces the following lung capacities:


The total lung capacity (TLC), about 6,000 mL, is the maximum amount of air that can fill the lungs (TLC = TV + IRV + ERV + RV).  The vital capacity (VC), about 4,800 mL, is the total amount of air that can be expired after fully inhaling (VC = TV + IRV + ERV = approximately 80 percent TLC). The value varies according to age and body size.  The inspiratory capacity (IC), about 3,600 mL, is the maximum amount of air that can be inspired (IC = TV + IRV).

The upper part of the pharynx (throat) lets only air pass through. Lower parts permit air, foods, and fluids to pass.

The pharyngeal, palatine, and lingual tonsils are located in the pharynx. They are also called Waldereyer's Ring. Larynx The larynx, commonly called the voice box or glottis, is the passageway for air between the pharynx above and the trachea below. It extends from the fourth to the sixth vertebral levels. It is formed by nine cartilages that are connected to each other by muscles and ligaments.

smaller passageways until they terminate in tiny air sacs called alveoli. Lungs The two lungs, which contain all the components of the bronchial tree beyond the primary bronchi, occupy most of the space in the thoracic cavity. The lungs are soft and spongy because they are mostly air spaces surrounded by the alveolar cells and elastic connective tissue. They are separated from each other by the mediastinum, which contains the heart. The only point of attachment for each lung is at the hilum, or root, on the medial side. This is where the bronchi, blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerves enter the lungs. The right lung is shorter, broader, and has a greater volume than the left lung. It is divided into three lobes and each lobe is supplied by one of the secondary bronchi. The left lung is longer and narrower than the right lung. It has an indentation,

The larynx plays an essential role in human speech. The false vocal cords have no role in sound production, but help close off the larynx when food is swallowed. The thyroid cartilage is the Adam's apple. The epiglottis acts like a trap door to keep food and other particles from entering the larynx. Trachea The trachea, commonly called the windpipe, is the main airway to the lungs. It divides into the right and left bronchi at the level of the fifth thoracic vertebra, channeling air to the right or left lung. The hyaline cartilage in the tracheal wall provides support and keeps the trachea from collapsing. Goblet cells produce mucus that traps airborne particles and microorganisms, and the cilia propel the mucus upward, where it is either swallowed or expelled. called the cardiac notch, on its medial surface for the apex of the heart. The left lung has two lobes. Each lung is enclosed by a double-layered serous membrane, called the pleura. The visceral pleura is firmly attached to the surface of the lung. At the hilum, the visceral pleura is continuous with the parietal pleura that lines the wall of the thorax. The small space between the visceral and parietal pleurae is the pleural cavity. It contains a thin film of serous fluid that is produced by the pleura. The fluid acts as a lubricant to reduce friction as the two layers slide against each other, and it helps to hold the two layers together as the lungs inflate and deflate.

Bronchi and Bronchial Tree
In the mediastinum, at the level of the fifth thoracic vertebra, the trachea divides into the right and left primary bronchi. The bronchi branch into smaller and Prepared by: Terry Mae Sarcia Source: http://training.seer.cancer.gov/

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