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Lung roots (anatomy)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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The lung roots are the regions apposing the mediastinal surfaces of the lungs on each side where there is transit to and from the lung of:

  • bronchi
  • pulmonary arteries
  • pulmonary veins
  • bronchial vessels
  • sympathetic nerves
  • parasympathetic nerves
  • lymphatics

The region of the lung where the root joins it is termed the hilus; it is approximately central upon the diaphragmatic surface of the lung. The root is ensheathed by the parietal pleural layer where it merges with the visceral pleura at the isthmus; it forms a layer which hang down into a loose fold inferiorly. This fold, the pulmonary ligament, provides room for expansion during increased flow of blood through the root.

The roots on each side have a slightly different arrangement of structures across its surface; this is discussed in the submenu.

The relations of the roots include:

  • anteriorly: phrenic nerve
  • posteriorly: vagus nerve
  • superiorly:
    • arching over on the right, the azygous vein
    • arching over on the left, the aorta

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