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52 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

respiratory system is composed of ...

structures involved in breathing or pulmonary ventilation.

pulmonary ventilation

airflow to and from the lungs and gas exchange.

(2) divisions of respiratory system

1) upper respiratory system (tract)

2) lower respiratory system (tract)

respiratory tract

branching passageway that carries air to/from the gas exchange surfaces of the lungs.

(2) portions of respiratory tract

1) conducting portion

2) respiratory portion

conducting portion consists of:

nasal cavity through pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and larger bronchioles

respiratory portion consists of:

smallest, most delicate bronchioles and air-filled sacs called alveoli


air-filled sacs where gas exchange between air and blood occurs

(5) major functions of respiratory system:

1) provides extensive surface area for gas exchange between air and circulating blood

2) moves air to/from gas exchange surfaces of the lungs

3) protects the respiratory surfaces (dehydration, temp changes, environmental variations) and defends from pathogens

4) produces sounds for communication

5) facilitates olfactory stimuli in superior nasal cavity

upper respiratory tract

filters, warms, humidifies incoming air and reabsorbs heat and water from outgoing air.

lower respiratory tract

conducts air to/from gas exchange surfaces.

respiratory defense system

filtration mechanisms which prevents contamination of respiratory system from inhaled debris or pathogens

respiratory mucosa

lines the conducting portion of respiratory tract and is lined with pseudostratified ciliated columnar epithelium with mucous cells

mucus escalator

ciliary movement to clean and protect respiratory surfaces (sweeps mucus and debris towards pharynx to be removed by cough or swallowed and exposed to stomach acids/enzymes)

lamina propria

supports respiratory epithelium (underlying layer of areolar tissue)

cystic fibrosis (CF)

most common, lethal inherited disease among Caucasians of Northern European descent; results in production of abnormally thick and sticky mucus in conducting portions of respiratory tract leading to lethal lung infections.

upper respiratory system includes: (4)

1) nose

2) nasal cavity

3) paranasal sinuses

4) pharynx


primary passageway for air entering respiratory system with normal breathing

name/define components of the nose: (3)

1) bridge of nose: two nasal bones supported by anterior nasal septum (hyaline cartilage).

2) nasal cartilages: elastic, extend laterally from bridge; keep nares open and prevent their collapse during strong inhalation.

3) external nares or nostrils: paired; air enters, opens into nasal cavity.

superior, middle, and inferior meatuses

passageway adjacent to the nasal conchae through which air flows from external nares to internal nares

nasal cavity

lining coated by mucus which traps airborne particles from incoming air bouncing off nasal conchae; also allows for warming and humidifying of incoming air and olfactory stimulation.

paranasal sinuses

produces mucus (aided by tears draining from nasolacrimal ducts) which keeps surfaces of nasal cavity moist and clean.

nasal septum

divides nasal cavity into left and right portions


chamber shared by digestive and respiratory systems


superior portion of pharynx located between soft palate and the internal nares.

nasopharyngeal meatus

pharyngeal opening of the auditory tube that leads to middle ear.


extends between soft palate and the base of the tongue at the level of the hyoid bone


portion of pharynx between hyoid bone and the entrance to the larynx and esophagus


windpipe; conducts air toward lungs

internal nares

connection through which nasal cavity opens into the nasopharynx

nasal vestibule

space contained within the flexible tissues of the nose; contains coarse hairs which trap/prevent large airborne particles from entering nasal cavity

hard palate

floor of the nasal cavity and separates it from the oral cavity

soft palate

extends posterior to the hard palate


1) narrow opening of the larynx through which air enters/leaves

2) made up of vocal folds and rima glottidis


cartilaginous structure that surrounds and protects the glottis

pathway of air through the upper respiratory system

external nares-->nasal vestibule (guarded by hairs which trap particles)-->nasal cavity-->superior, middle, and inferior meatuses (air bounces off conchal surfaces)-->internal nares (connections between nasal cavity and nasopharynx)-->nasopharynx-->oropharynx-->laryngopharynx

lower respiratory systems includes (4):

1) larynx

2) trachea

3) bronchus

4) bronchioles


voice box; protects glottis and produces sounds

name/define 3 large unpaired cartilages of larynx

1) epiglottis: projects superior to glottis; forms lid over glottis to prevent the entry of foods into the respiratory tract during swallowing.

2) thyroid cartilage: anterior surface called the laryngeal prominence or Adam's apple; superior surface attaches to hyoid bone, the epiglottis, and small laryngeal cartilages.

3) cricoid cartilage: complete ring of cartilage; together with thyroid cartilages protect the glottis and entrance to the trachea.

vestibular and vocal ligaments

extend between the thyroid cartilage and the arytenoid cartilages

name/define (3) small paired cartilages of larynx

1) cuneiform cartilages: (long, curved); lie within folds of tissue that extend between lateral surface arytenoid cartilages and epiglottis.

2) corniculate cartilages: function in opening and closing of glottis and production of sound along with arytenoid cartilages.

3) arytenoid cartilages: articulate with superior surface of cricoid cartilage.

vocal folds (vocal cords)

tissue folds (contain elastic vocal ligaments) which make up the glottis; passing air vibrates these when the glottis is open to produce sound

rima glottidis

1) makes up glottis along with vocal folds

2) opening between vocal folds and the arytenoid cartilages.

vestibular folds

1) inelastic; house the vestibular ligaments

2) prevent foreign objects from entering the glottis and contacting the delicate vocal folds.


1) sound production at the larynx

2) component of speech


modification of sounds by other structues (tongue, teeth, lips) required for clear speech


1) windpipe; begins anterior to vertebra C6 and ends in mediastinum at level vertebra T5

2) brances to form (R) and (L) primary bronchi

tracheal cartilages

1) stiffen tracheal walls and protect airway,

2) prevent collapse or overexpanding of trachea as pressures change in the respiratory system.

(R) primary bronchus

1) larger in diameter and descends towards lungs at a steeper angle than (L).

2) most foreign objects entering the trachea found here.

trachealis muscle

1) connect ends of each C-shaped tracheal cartilage along with elastic ligament.

2) contracts to reduce diameter of trachea in response to increased resistance to airflow which allows more forceful air expulsion, such as when cough.

air-conducting passageways in lower respiratory tract

trachea to mediastinum-->two primary bronchi (form complete rings) one to each lung-->secondary bronchi-->tertiary bronchi-->bronchioles-->terminal bronchioles-->pulmonary lobule-->gas exchange with alveoli

secondary bronchi

1) supported by small cartilage plates rather than rings

2) right lung has 3, left lung has 2