Surface Anatomy Of The Lungs

The right lung is composed of three lobes—upper, middle and lower, and is the larger of the lungs. The left is made up of only two lobes, upper and lower, and is smaller because of impingement of the heart on the lung. Two fissures are present on the right—the major fissure and the minor fissure in the oblique and horizontal planes, respectively (Fig. 11.1a).

Variations in the fissures occur and often there is a failure of development of part or all the fissure. This is frequently seen as a less complete fusion between the middle lobe and upper lobe on the right side. Accessory fissures may occur and one example of this is the azygous lobe, an accessory lobe in the right upper lobe formed from a fissure developed from an aberrant loop of the azygous vein.

The anatomic pattern seen on a PA and lateral chest film is characteristic (Fig. 11.1b).

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