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1. either one of a pair of spongy saclike respiratory organs within the thorax of higher vertebrates, which oxygenate the blood and remove its carbon dioxide
2. any similar or analogous organ in other vertebrates or in invertebrates


Paired, air-filled respiratory sacs, usually in the anterior or anteroventral part of the trunk of most tetrapods. They lie within the coelom and are covered by peritoneum. In mammals they are within special chambers of the coelom known as pleural cavities and the peritoneum is termed pleura.

Amphibian lungs are often simple sacs, with only small ridges on the internal walls. In higher forms the lungs become more and more subdivided internally, thus increasing greatly the surface areas across which the respiratory exchange takes place. However, even in many reptiles the lungs may be quite simple. Birds have especially complex lungs with a highly differentiated system of tubes leading into and through them to the air sacs which are contained in many parts of the bird's body. Mammalian lungs are simpler, but in them the internal subdivision into tiny sacs or alveoli is extreme; there may be over 350,000,000 of them in one human lung.

In humans the two lungs lie within the chest, separated by the heart and mediastinum. The right lung has three lobes and the left lung two. A bronchus, an artery, and a vein enter each lung medially at the hilum; each branches again and again as it enters the lobules and smaller divisions of the lungs (see illustration). The terminal airways or bronchioles expand into small clusters of grapelike air cells, the alveoli. The alveolar walls consist of a single layer of epithelium and collectively present a huge surface. A small network of blood capillaries in the walls of the alveoli affords surfaces for the actual exchange of gases. See Respiration, Respiratory system

The human lungenlarge picture
The human lung


Either of the paired air-filled sacs, usually in the anterior or anteroventral part of the trunk of most tetrapods, which function as organs of respiration.
References in periodicals archive ?
The common aetiological agents in patients with Pneumonia, Lung abscess and Bronchiectasis are Grampositive organisms like Streptococcus pneumonia and Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-negative organisms like Haemophilus influenza, Klebsiella pneumonia, Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter.
It is likely that his subsequent conditions, chest problems, sepsis, pneumonia and lung abscess can be related back to the bowel perforation.
One patient had a previous history of bronchitis and developed a lung abscess which may have been related to the exposure.
He said: "I had a lung abscess when I was 18 and had major surgery for that, but I had no problems until I was 56 when I had pneumonia but recovered from that.
Bansal et al reported a case of paraesophageal hernia occurring after a failed Nissen fundoplication that was initially mistaken for a lung abscess.
In these cases, CT can be used to evaluate and follow the extent of the disease and detect potential complications such as lung abscess formation or empyema (3).
Material is presented in two volumes, the first of which covers normal respiratory physiology, growth, and development; physical examination and diagnostic methods; and diseases such as pneumonia, lung abscess, brochiectasis, and antimicrobial agents.
Cough accompanied by foul smell may be a symptom of lung abscess.
Compared with 10 who had MSSA, those with MRSA were more likely to have pneumonia, empyema, lung abscess, and atelectasis.
Three months into treatment, a left lower lobe lung abscess caused by Streptococcus viridans was diagnosed.
While often used as a synonym for pneumonia, the rubric of LRTI can also be applied to other types of infection including lung abscess, acute bronchitis and emphysema.
Empyema and lung abscess are complications of pneumonia, and patients present with persistent fever, cough, dyspnea, and malaise.