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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 ?
In the moxifloxacin group, 59% of patients with aspiration pneumonia and 80% of those with primary lung abscess responded to treatment.
5 cm squamous cell carcinoma of the right lung arising from the lower lobe bronchus, a right broncho-esophageal fistula, and a right lower lung abscess were found.
AYOU should ask your GP or specialist to establish whether the swelling in your neck could be related to the lung abscess you had in 1988.
He recorded the cause of death was a combination of bronchopneumonia, ischaemic heart disease, and a chronic right lung abscess.
Ravi Reddy said, that the racing horses had been ill for more than a week with high fever and are suffering from nasal discharge, some of them even have lung abscess, and are being treated at Pune recourse, some of the thoroughbreds have not responded to the first line of treatment and are on antibiotics for second bacterial infection, he said.
The cause of death was given as bronchopneumonia and lung abscess due to circulation problems and infected sores.
Complications associated with bronchiectasis include recurrent pneumonias, empyema, pneumothorax and lung abscess.
Pneumonia, lung abscess, or cavitary disease with spread to contiguous structures are typical clinical presentations.
Aspirated foreign bodies represent a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, both from acute obstruction and asphyxiation and from postobstructive pneumonia and lung abscess.
Medical evidence revealed the divorced father had a lung abscess and was also suffering from heart disease.
Lung abscess and osteomyelitis of a rib due to Yersinia enterocolitica.