Architecture of the Tracheobronchial Tree

Kent E Pinkerton, Laura S. Van Winkle, Charles Plopper, Suzette Smiley-Jewell, Elvira C. Covarrubias, John T. McBride

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The structure of the mammalian tracheobronchial tree fulfills a number of important and occasionally contradictory requirements. The geometry of the complex system of branching airways allows for efficient transport of gas to and from the lung periphery, while occupying a minimum of volume within the neck and thorax. Individual airways are adequately stiff to sustain the high airflows necessary for extremes of exertion but adequately compliant to narrow during coughing and to permit the removal of accumulated mucus and debris. In addition, bronchial architecture is a major determinant of the pattern of deposition of inhaled particles, a function with important implications for health and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComparative Biology of the Normal Lung: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780124045774, 9780124047266
StatePublished - Mar 18 2015


  • Airway geometry
  • Airways
  • Asymmetric airways
  • Bronchial tree
  • HRCT
  • Intralobar airway
  • Microdissection
  • Morphometry
  • Parenchyma
  • Symmetric airways
  • Trachea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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