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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 11 - Respiratory System

Plate 11.229 Alviolar Duct and Alveolar Sacs

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed


Plate 11.229 Alviolar Duct and Alveolar Sacs

Rat, glutaraldehyde-osmium fixation,
toluidine blue stain, A. 162 x, B. 612 x.

Refer to Figure 11A which can be used in conjunction with this plate in order to follow the structural changes that occur from the respiratory bronchiole to alveolar ducts to alveolar sacs where gaseous exchange takes place.

Alveolar duct: A branch of the respiratory bronchiole. The duct is composed of alveolar sacs and alveoli. See Plates 227 and 228.

Alveolar sacs: Cluster of alveoli opening into the main lumen of the sac. Individual alveoli are lined by a thin squamous (Pneumocyte type I) and cuboidal epithelium (Pneumocyte type II). A closely applied capillary network is separated from the epithelium by a thin basement membrane. It is across this trilaminar wall that oxygen, carbon dioxide and other inspired gases are exchanged in respiration.

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