This study unit will help you to:
- Describe the location of the trachea.
- Master the structure and functions of the trachea.
The trachea (windpipe) is a long fibrocartilaginous respiratory tube that connects the larynx and the primary bronchi. As it is located below the larynx, it is considered part of the lower respiratory tract. It comprises tracheal cartilages bound anterolaterally by anular ligaments and posteriorly by the trachealis muscle. The trachea ends at the level of vertebra T5 in a bifurcation, dividing into the left and right main bronchi. These structures combined form the tracheobronchial tree.
The main function of this cartilaginous tube is to conduct air from the larynx to the bronchi and vice versa. The trachea also protects the lungs from potentially harmful external agents with its immune cells and from particles physically entering the lungs through its specialized epithelial cells.
The following video tutorial will help you understand all the important features of the trachea.
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Now you can observe each feature of the trachea in more detail in the image gallery below.
|Definition||The trachea is a fibrocartilaginous tube that transports air from the upper respiratory tract to the lungs and vice versa|
Anterolateral wall: 16-20 tracheal cartilages connected by anular ligaments
Posterior wall: Fibromuscular wall (trachealis muscle)
|Function||Air conduction, immune and mechanical protection|
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