Airway Anatomy

  • Arthur SungEmail author


The human airway consists of the upper and lower airways. The larynx, being part of the upper airway, contributes to phonation, respiration, and prevention of aspirations. Its anatomy plays a central role in the complex sensorimotor functions including swallowing and speech production. The cricoid cartilage serves as an anchoring structure connecting the laryngeal apparatus to the lower airways by means of ligaments and muscles. The tracheobronchial tree begins with the first tracheal ring and continues with incomplete cartilaginous rings providing the skeletal framework as part of the conducting airways. The trachea and subsequent dividing branches of the bilateral lungs have remarkable reproducibility in terms of branching patterns as well as luminal calibers. The nomenclature for bronchial anatomy consists of the Jackson-Huber classification and the Boyden surgical classification. Accurate description of airway anatomy is important for both the diagnosis and the management of chest diseases.


Soft Palate Bronchial Artery Thyroid Cartilage Cricoid Cartilage Left Main Bronchus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Bronchoscopy and Interventional PulmonologyBeth Israel Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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