Human Anatomy, First Edition
McKinley & O'Loughlin
Chapter 25 Lecture Outline:
Organization and Functions of
the Respiratory System
Consists of an upper respiratory tract and a
lower respiratory tract.
Conducting portion transports air.
includes the nose, nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, trachea,
and progressively smaller airways, from the primary bronchi
to the bronchioles
Respiratory portion carries out gas exchange.
composed of small airways called respiratory bronchioles
and alveolar ducts as well as air sacs called alveoli
Respiratory System Functions
Breathing (pulmonary ventilation).
consists of two cyclic phases:
inhalation, also called inspiration
exhalation, also called expiration
Inhalation draws gases into the lungs.
Exhalation forces gases out of the lungs.
Gas exchange, gas conditioning, sound
production, olfaction, and defense.
Upper Respiratory Tract
Composed of the nose and nasal cavity,
paranasal sinuses, pharynx (throat), and
All part of the conducting portion of the
Four bones of the skull contain paired air spaces
called the paranasal sinuses.
decrease skull bone weight
Named for the bones in which they are housed.
Communicate with the nasal cavity by ducts.
Covered with the same pseudostratified ciliated
columnar epithelium as the nasal cavity.
Common space used by both the respiratory and
Commonly called the throat.
Funnel-shaped, meaning that it is slightly wider
superiorly and narrower inferiorly.
Originates posterior to the nasal and oral cavities and
extends inferiorly near the level of the bifurcation of
the larynx and esophagus.
Common pathway for both air and food.
Walls are lined by a mucosa and contain skeletal
muscles that are primarily used for swallowing.
Flexible lateral walls are distensible in order to force
swallowed food into the esophagus.
Partitioned into three adjoining regions:
Superiormost region of the pharynx.
Located directly posterior to the nasal cavity and superior to the
soft palate, which separates it from the posterior part of the
Normally, only air passes through.
Material from the oral cavity and oropharynx is typically blocked
from entering the nasopharynx by the soft palate, which
elevates when we swallow.
In the lateral walls of the nasopharynx, paired auditory tubes
connect the nasopharynx to the middle ear.
Posterior nasopharynx wall also houses a single pharyngeal
tonsil (commonly called the adenoids).
The middle pharyngeal region.
Immediately posterior to the oral cavity.
Bounded by the edge of the soft palate superiorly and the hyoid
Common respiratory and digestive pathway through which both
air and swallowed food and drink pass.
2 pairs of muscular arches, the anterior palatoglossal arches
and the posterior palatopharyngeal arches, form the entrance
from the oral cavity.
Lymphatic organs here provide the "first line of defense"
against ingested or inhaled foreign materials.
Palatine tonsils are on the lateral wall between the arches, and
the lingual tonsils are at the base of the tongue.
Inferior, narrowed region of the pharynx.
Extends inferiorly from the hyoid bone and is
continuous with the larynx and esophagus.
Terminates at the superior border of the esophagus
and is equivalent to the inferior border of the cricoid
cartilage in the larynx.
The larynx (voice box) forms the anterior wall
Lined with a nonkeratinized stratified squamous
Permits passage of both food and air.
Lower Respiratory Tract
Conducting airways (larynx, trachea, bronchi,
bronchioles and their associated structures).
Respiratory portion of the respiratory system
(respiratory bronchioles, alveolar ducts, and alveoli).
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