To live, one must breathe continuously. For the incessant inspiratory and expiratory movements of life, the lung must be sturdy and efficient for gas exchange. The lung is unique among all internal organs in that it exposes itself directly and constantly to the surrounding atmosphere. Because it is requisite for life, it has to be protected vigilantly. Although the lung is designed to maintain life with minimum effort, it also needs to respond to urgent needs, increasing its basic rates of function 10 fold or more within seconds in life-threatening situations.


Mesothelial Cell Ciliated Cell Mucous Cell Bronchial Artery Alveolar Wall 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nai-San Wang

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