Right lung

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


The Right lung is divided into three lobes, superior, middle, and inferior, by two interlobular fissures:


  • One of these, the oblique fissure, separates the inferior from the middle and superior lobes, and corresponds closely with the fissure in the left lung. Its direction is, however, more vertical, and it cuts the lower border about 7.5 cm. behind its anterior extremity.


The middle lobe, the smallest lobe of the right lung, is wedge-shaped, and includes the lower part of the anterior border and the anterior part of the base of the lung. (There is no middle lobe on the left lung, though there is a lingula.)

The superior and inferior lobes are similar to their counterparts on the left lung.

Difference in size

The right lung, although shorter by 2.5 cm. than the left, in consequence of the diaphragm rising higher on the right side to accommodate the liver, is broader, owing to the inclination of the heart to the left side; its total capacity is greater and it weighs more than the left lung.


On the mediastinal surface, immediately above the hilus, is an arched furrow which accommodates the azygos vein; while running upward, and then arching lateralward some little distance below the apex, is a wide groove for the superior vena cava and right innominate vein; behind this, and nearer the apex, is a furrow for the innominate artery.

Behind the hilus and the attachment of the pulmonary ligament is a vertical groove for the esophagus; this groove becomes less distinct below, owing to the inclination of the lower part of the esophagus to the left of the middle line.

In front and to the right of the lower part of the esophageal groove is a deep concavity for the extrapericardiac portion of the thoracic part of the inferior vena cava.

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