Right main bronchus

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Right main bronchus
Illu conducting passages.svg
Conducting passages
Front view of cartilages of larynx, trachea, and bronchi
Latin bronchus principalis dexter
Gray's p.1085

The right main bronchus (or right primary bronchus, or right principal bronchus) is a bronchus of the respiratory system. It is wider, shorter, and more horizontal in direction than the left. It is about 2.5 cm long, and enters the right lung nearly opposite the fifth thoracic vertebra.


The azygos vein arches over it from behind; and the right pulmonary artery lies at first below and then in front of it. About 2 cm from its commencement it gives off a branch, the eparterial bronchus, to the upper lobe of the right lung. Eparterial refers to its position above the right pulmonary artery. The right bronchus now passes below the artery, and is known as the hyparterial branch; it divides into two branches for the middle and lower lobes.


In 0.1 to 5% of people there is a right superior lobe bronchus arising from the main stem bronchus prior to the carina. This is known as a tracheal bronchus, and seen as an anatomical variation. It can have multiple variations and, although usually asymptomatic, can be the root cause of pulmonary disease such a recurrent infection. In such case resection is often curative1 .2


Clinical significance

If a foreign body in the airway passes through the trachea, it will most likely enter the right main bronchus instead of the left, due to the straighter alignment of the right bronchus to the trachea.

Additional images


This article incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy.

  1. ^ Shih, Fu-Chieh; Wei-Jing Lee, Hung-Jung Lin (2009-03-31). "Tracheal bronchus". Canadian Medical Association Journal 180 (7): 783–783. doi:10.1503/cmaj.080280. ISSN 0820-3946. 
  2. ^ Barat, Michael; Horst R. Konrad (1987-03-04). "Tracheal bronchus". American Journal of Otolaryngology 8 (2): 118–122. doi:10.1016/S0196-0709(87)80034-0. ISSN 0196-0709. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 

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