11.5: Glossary- The Respiratory System - Biology

11.5: Glossary- The Respiratory System - Biology

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.


ala (plural = alae) small, flaring structure of a nostril that forms the lateral side of the nares

alar cartilage cartilage that supports the apex of the nose and helps shape the nares; it is connected to the septal cartilage and connective tissue of the alae

alveolar duct small tube that leads from the terminal bronchiole to the respiratory bronchiole and is the point of attachment for alveoli

alveolar macrophage immune system cell of the alveolus that removes debris and pathogens

alveolar pore opening that allows airflow between neighboring alveoli

alveolar sac cluster of alveoli

alveolus small, grape-like sac that performs gas exchange in the lungs

apex tip of the external nose

bronchial tree collective name for the multiple branches of the bronchi and bronchioles of the respiratory system

bronchoconstriction decrease in the size of the bronchiole due to contraction of the muscular wall

bronchodilation increase in the size of the bronchiole due to contraction of the muscular wall

bridge portion of the external nose that lies in the area of the nasal bones

bronchiole branch of bronchi that are 1 mm or less in diameter and terminate at alveolar sacs

bronchus tube connected to the trachea that branches into many subsidiaries and provides a passageway for air to enter and leave the lungs

cardiac notch indentation on the surface of the left lung that allows space for the heart

conducting zone region of the respiratory system that includes the organs and structures that provide passageways for air and are not directly involved in gas exchange

cricoid cartilage portion of the larynx composed of a ring of cartilage with a wide posterior region and a thinner anterior region; attached to the esophagus

dorsum nasi intermediate portion of the external nose that connects the bridge to the apex and is supported by the nasal bone

epiglottis leaf-shaped piece of elastic cartilage that is a portion of the larynx that swings to close the trachea during swallowing

external nose region of the nose that is easily visible to others

fauces portion of the posterior oral cavity that connects the oral cavity to the oropharynx

fibroelastic membrane specialized membrane that connects the ends of the C-shape cartilage in the trachea; contains smooth muscle fibers

glottis opening between the vocal folds through which air passes when producing speech

hilum concave structure on the mediastinal surface of the lungs where blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, nerves, and a bronchus enter the lung

laryngeal prominence region where the two lamina of the thyroid cartilage join, forming a protrusion known as “Adam’s apple”

laryngopharynx portion of the pharynx bordered by the oropharynx superiorly and esophagus and trachea inferiorly; serves as a route for both air and food

larynx cartilaginous structure that produces the voice, prevents food and beverages from entering the trachea, and regulates the volume of air that enters and leaves the lungs

lingual tonsil lymphoid tissue located at the base of the tongue

lung organ of the respiratory system that performs gas exchange

meatus one of three recesses (superior, middle, and inferior) in the nasal cavity attached to the conchae that increase the surface area of the nasal cavity

naris (plural = nares) opening of the nostrils

nasal bone bone of the skull that lies under the root and bridge of the nose and is connected to the frontal and maxillary bones

nasal septum wall composed of bone and cartilage that separates the left and right nasal cavities

nasopharynx portion of the pharynx flanked by the conchae and oropharynx that serves as an airway

oropharynx portion of the pharynx flanked by the nasopharynx, oral cavity, and laryngopharynx that is a passageway for both air and food

palatine tonsil one of the paired structures composed of lymphoid tissue located anterior to the uvula at the roof of isthmus of the fauces

paranasal sinus one of the cavities within the skull that is connected to the conchae that serve to warm and humidify incoming air, produce mucus, and lighten the weight of the skull; consists of frontal, maxillary, sphenoidal, and ethmoidal sinuses

parietal pleura outermost layer of the pleura that connects to the thoracic wall, mediastinum, and diaphragm

pharyngeal tonsil structure composed of lymphoid tissue located in the nasopharynx

pharynx region of the conducting zone that forms a tube of skeletal muscle lined with respiratory epithelium; located between the nasal conchae and the esophagus and trachea

philtrum concave surface of the face that connects the apex of the nose to the top lip

pleural cavity space between the visceral and parietal pleurae

pleural fluid substance that acts as a lubricant for the visceral and parietal layers of the pleura during the movement of breathing

pulmonary artery artery that arises from the pulmonary trunk and carries deoxygenated, arterial blood to the alveoli

pulmonary plexus network of autonomic nervous system fibers found near the hilum of the lung

pulmonary surfactant substance composed of phospholipids and proteins that reduces the surface tension of the alveoli; made by type II alveolar cells

respiratory bronchiole specific type of bronchiole that leads to alveolar sacs

respiratory epithelium ciliated lining of much of the conducting zone that is specialized to remove debris and pathogens, and produce mucus

respiratory membrane alveolar and capillary wall together, which form an air-blood barrier that facilitates the simple diffusion of gases

respiratory zone includes structures of the respiratory system that are directly involved in gas exchange

root region of the external nose between the eyebrows

thyroid cartilage largest piece of cartilage that makes up the larynx and consists of two lamina

trachea tube composed of cartilaginous rings and supporting tissue that connects the lung bronchi and the larynx; provides a route for air to enter and exit the lung

trachealis muscle smooth muscle located in the fibroelastic membrane of the trachea

true vocal cord one of the pair of folded, white membranes that have a free inner edge that oscillates as air passes through to produce sound

type I alveolar cell squamous epithelial cells that are the major cell type in the alveolar wall; highly permeable to gases

type II alveolar cell cuboidal epithelial cells that are the minor cell type in the alveolar wall; secrete pulmonary surfactant

vestibular fold part of the folded region of the glottis composed of mucous membrane; supports the epiglottis during swallowing

visceral pleura innermost layer of the pleura that is superficial to the lungs and extends into the lung fissures

The scary beast in Figure 13.5.1 is likely to be lurking in your own home, where it feeds on organic debris, including human skin. What is it? It’s the common dust mite, a close relative of spiders. The dust mite is so small that it is barely visible with the unaided eye, so it’s obviously shown greatly enlarged above. If you think you can get rid of dust mites in your home by frequent and thorough cleaning, think again. There may be thousands of dust mites in just one gram of dust! Regardless of how clean you keep your house, you can’t eliminate dust mites entirely. So why even bother trying? The feces of dust mites contain proteins that are a common trigger of asthma attacks.

Figure 13.5.2 During an asthma attack, airways narrow and may become clogged with mucus, making breathing difficult.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways in the lungs, in which the airways periodically become inflamed. As you can see in Figure 13.5.2, this causes swelling and narrowing of the airways, often accompanied by excessive mucus production. Symptoms of asthma include difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Some people with asthma rarely experience symptoms, and then usually only in response to certain triggers in the environment. Other people may have symptoms almost all of the time.

Asthma is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. A person with a family history of asthma is more likely to develop the disease. Dozens of genes have been found to be associated with asthma, many of which are related to the immune system. Additional risk factors include obesity and sleep apnea. Environmental factors trigger asthma attacks in people who have a genetic predisposition to the disease. Besides dust mite feces, triggers may include other allergens (such as pet dander, cockroaches, and mold), certain medications including aspirin, air pollution, and stress. Symptoms tend to be worse at night and early in the morning. They may also worsen during upper respiratory tract infections, strenuous exercise, or when the airways are exposed to cold air.

Figure 13.5.3 Use of inhaled bronchodilators (medications which cause the bronchi to expand) can help patients manage the long-term effects of living with asthma.

There is no cure for asthma at present, but the symptoms of asthma attacks usually can be reversed with the use of inhaled medications called bronchodilators (as shown in Figure 13.5.3). These medications soothe the constricted air passages and help to re-expand them, making breathing easier. The medications usually start to take effect almost immediately. Other medications can be taken for long-term control of the disease. These medications help prevent asthma attacks from occurring. Corticosteroids are generally considered the most effective treatment for long-term control. Another way to prevent asthma attacks is by avoiding triggers whenever possible.

Respiratory system

2. an organized set of principles or ideas. adj., adj systemat´ic, system´ic.

The parts of a system can be referred to as its elements or components the environment of the system is defined as all of the factors that affect the system and are affected by it. A living system is capable of taking in matter, energy, and information from its environment (input), processing them in some way, and returning matter, energy, and information to its environment as output.

An open system is one in which there is an exchange of matter, energy, and information with the environment in a closed system there is no such exchange. A living system cannot survive without this exchange, but in order to survive it must maintain pattern and organization in the midst of constant change. Control of self-regulation of an open system is achieved by dynamic interactions among its elements or components. The result of self-regulation is referred to as the steady state that is, a state of equilibrium. homeostasis is an assemblage of organic regulations that act to maintain steady states of a living organism.

A system can be divided hierarchically into subsystems, which can be further subdivided into sub-subsystems and components. A system and its environment could be considered as a unified whole for purposes of study, or a subsystem could be studied as a system. For example, the collection of glands in the endocrine system can be thought of as a system, each endocrine gland could be viewed as a system, or even specific cells of a single gland could be studied as a system. It is also possible to think of the human body as a living system and the endocrine system as a subsystem. The division of a system into a subsystem and its environment is dependent on the perspective chosen by the person studying a particular phenomenon.

Respiratory system

One male in his 40s, who was asymptomatic upon arrival, was hospitalized as his respiratory system worsened.

Air pollution was also an irritant for some of our eyes, noses and respiratory system s.

This challenges what scientists thought they knew about blowhole anatomy and whales’ respiratory system s.

NATA combines information on pollutants that affect the respiratory system into a variable called the “respiratory hazard index.”

According to EPA data, West Baton Rouge Parish has more air pollution that affects the respiratory system than 99% of counties nationwide.

There were no deaths on scheduled commercial aviation flights in 2014, in a system that operates 68,000 flights a day.

She fills her characters up—strong women beating back against a sexist system—with so much heart.

A hundred ultra-wealthy liberal and conservative donors have taken over the political system.

“Stay in formation,” a sergeant from the ceremonial unit said over a public address system to the cops along the street.

Both parties are now equal opportunity offenders when it comes to gaming the system.

Sweden excluded British goods, conformably to the continental system established by Bonaparte.

As Spain, however, has fallen from the high place she once held, her colonial system has also gone down.

The reformers of the earlier period were not indifferent to the need for centralized organization in the banking system.

Accordingly, the question "How far does the note issue under the new system seem likely to prove an elastic one?"

Thanks to Berthier's admirable system, Bonaparte was kept in touch with every part of his command.

Respiratory acidosis

2. a pathologic condition resulting from this process, characterized by increase in hydrogen ion concentration (decrease in pH). The optimal acid-base balance is maintained by chemical buffers, biologic activities of the cells, and effective functioning of the lungs and kidneys. The opposite of acidosis is alkalosis . adj., adj acidot´ic.

Acidosis usually occurs secondary to some underlying disease process the two major types, distinguished according to cause, are metabolic acidosis and respiratory acidosis (see accompanying table). In mild cases the symptoms may be overlooked in severe cases symptoms are more obvious and may include muscle twitching, involuntary movement, cardiac arrhythmias, disorientation, and coma.

In general, treatment consists of intravenous or oral administration of sodium bicarbonate or sodium lactate solutions and correction of the underlying cause of the imbalance. Many cases of severe acidosis can be prevented by careful monitoring of patients whose primary illness predisposes them to respiratory problems or metabolic derangements that can cause increased levels of acidity or decreased bicarbonate levels. Such care includes effective teaching of self-care to the diabetic so that the disease remains under control. Patients receiving intravenous therapy, especially those having a fluid deficit, and those with biliary or intestinal intubation should be watched closely for early signs of acidosis. Others predisposed to acidosis are patients with shock, hyperthyroidism, advanced circulatory failure, renal failure, respiratory disorders, or liver disease.

metabolic acidosis any of the types of acidosis resulting from accumulation in the blood of keto acids (derived from fat metabolism) at the expense of bicarbonate this diminishes the body's ability to neutralize acids. This type is contrasted with respiratory acidosis . It occurs when there is either an acid gain (as in diabetic ketoacidosis, lactic acidosis, poisoning, or failure of the renal tubules to reabsorb bicarbonate) or a bicarbonate loss (as in diarrhea or a gastrointestinal fistula).

The symptoms of metabolic acidosis include weakness, malaise, and headache. As the acid level goes up these symptoms progress to stupor, unconsciousness, coma, and death. The breath may have a fruity odor owing to the presence of acetone, and the patient may experience vomiting and diarrhea. Loss of fluids can deplete body fluid content and aggravate the acidosis. Hyperventilation may occur as a result of stimulation of the hypothalamus. blood gas analysis will reveal a lowered pH and an elevated PaCO2. (See accompanying table.)

respiratory acidosis acidosis resulting from ventilatory impairment and subsequent retention of carbon dioxide , in contrast to metabolic acidosis . The respiratory system has an important role in maintaining acid - base balance . In response to an increase in the hydrogen ion concentration in body fluids, the respiratory rate increases, causing more carbon dioxide to be released from the lung. When either an acute obstruction of the airways or a chronic condition involving the organs of respiration causes interference with the exhalation of the carbon dioxide produced by metabolic activity, carbon dioxide accumulates in the blood and unites with water to form carbonic acid.

Acute respiratory acidosis occurs when there is a relatively sudden malfunction of respiratory activities, as in upper airway obstruction, acute infections and inflammation of the lung and bronchial tissues, and pulmonary edema. In acute respiratory acidosis the compensatory chemical buffer systems are of limited benefit in restoring the acid-base balance because they depend on normal blood circulation and tissue perfusion for optimal effect. The physiologic regulators, the lungs and kidneys, are of little help because the lungs are malfunctioning and the kidneys require more time to compensate than the acute condition permits.

Chronic respiratory acidosis results from gradual and irreversible loss of ventilatory function, as in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Although the patient in this condition does have an increased retention of CO2, there is time for the kidneys to compensate by retaining bicarbonate and thereby maintaining a pH within tolerable limits. If, however, even a minor respiratory infection develops, the patient is subject to a rapidly developing state of acute acidosis because the lungs cannot be depended upon to remove more than a minimal amount of CO2.

Treatment and Patient Care . The initial treatment for acute respiratory acidosis is to establish an airway immediately and maintain adequate ventilation and hydration. Acute cases may require the use of an endotracheal tube or tracheostomy tube. Some form of intermittent positive pressure breathing is applied through a machine-driven ventilator, essentially to force adequate O2 delivery and concomitant CO2 removal from the lungs, thereby avoiding further rises in CO2 levels to the point that CO2 narcosis will develop. Beyond a certain point the respiratory center may cease responding to the higher CO2 levels, and breathing will stop abruptly. Drugs that further depress the respiratory center (narcotics, hypnotics, and tranquilizers) must be avoided. Patients in the acute stage are watched for cessation of breathing and cardiac arrest. cardiopulmonary resuscitation may be required to revive the patient.

It is recommended that oxygen administration be limited in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In COPD the stimulus to breathe is a hypoxic state, therefore administration of high concentrations of O2 will remove this needed stimulus. The rate of oxygen flow should be closely correlated with blood gas studies. In patients with acute lung diseases the stimulus to breathe is still dependent on CO2 concentrations, so that O2 can be supplied without fear of inhibiting the stimulus to breathe.

Measures that facilitate breathing are essential to patient care during respiratory acidosis. Frequent turning, coughing, and deep breathing exercises to encourage oxygen&ndashcarbon dioxide exchange are beneficial, as is suctioning when needed to remove secretions obstructing the airway. postural drainage , unless contraindicated by the patient's condition, may be effective in promoting adequate ventilation.

11.5: Glossary- The Respiratory System - Biology

Ensure a safe workplace with safety signs and labels from Safety Emporium!


  • The respiratory system refers to the organs used in breathing such as the nose, throat, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs. Your body uses this system to take in oxygen from the air and expel carbon dioxide.
  • Respiration - is the act of inhaling and exhaling. In others words, breathing.
  • Respiratory protection refers preventing damage to the respiratory systems of employees who work in environments with insufficient oxygen or where harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, fumes, gases, vapors, or sprays are present. The most commonly used form of respiratory protection involves respirators.

Additional Info

The term pulmonary is used to refer to processes or conditions involving the lungs. For example, pulmonary edema is an abnormal buildup of fluid in the lungs.

SDS Relevance

Exposure to certain chemicals can result in irritation or damage to the respiratory system. Always read the Safety Data Sheet to determine the safe working limits (PEL and TWA values) and to see what kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) is suggested. Avoid exposure to dusts, fumes and vapors.

Respirators are pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that can help protect your respiratory system from exposure to hazardous chemicals. SDS's may call for such PPE if appropriate engineering controls such as fume hoods are not available you will find this information in Section 8 (exposure controls/personal protection) of the sheet.

Further Reading

Get your PPE such as made in USA NIOSH-approved N95 masks from Safety Emporium.

    at the NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Click on tabs to expand each subsection. at WebMD. at Kimball's Biology Pages.
  • OSHA's Respiratory Protection Advisor Home Page with all kinds of links, training, tips, information and more.
  • OSHA's Respiratory Protection eTool. , a generic, non-exhaustive overview (280 Kb PDF file). . '

Additional definitions from Google and OneLook.

Entry last updated: Monday, September 28, 2020. This page is copyright 2000-2021 by ILPI. Unauthorized duplication or posting on other web sites is expressly prohibited. Send suggestions, comments, and new entry desires (include the URL if applicable) to us by email.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is believed to be true and accurate, however ILPI makes no guarantees concerning the veracity of any statement. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. ILPI strongly encourages the reader to consult the appropriate local, state and federal agencies concerning the matters discussed herein.


Cellular respiration is a chemical process that takes place inside cells and produces energy.

In our lungs, respiration can refer to the act of breathing.

Of course, particles emitted during respiration may pass through thin material, but a low pressure drop may aid diffusion, with particles floating around inside the gaiter until they get stuck on fabric or your skin.

While most dives lasted around an hour, 5 percent exceeded about 78 minutes, suggesting it takes more than twice as long as thought for the whales to switch to anaerobic respiration .

Some ROS are produced in the normal course of organisms’ respiration , metabolism and immunological defense, sometimes for specific functions and sometimes as byproducts.

And some reptiles add a fourth function to the overworked cloacal repository–that of respiration as well.

From higher up, at the level of the hidden bed, came the regular plaintive respiration of Sarah Gailey.

It is produced abundantly when vegetable matters are burnt, as also during respiration , fermentation, and many other processes.

On examining the respiration and pulse, I have never been able to detect any characteristic abnormality.

His eyes are closed, and from the parted lips there issues the regular respiration of sound sleep.

After twelve minutes of artificial respiration the lungs and heart began to act.

I am looking for:

In this animated and interactive object, learners examine ventilation, external and internal respiration, and gas transport.


By Mary Riebe

In this interactive object, learners review respiratory system terminology and then match the terms with their definitions.

By Ann Jadin

In this learning activity, learners review the value of health and wellness as it relates to exercise, nutrition, intimacy, and spirituality. Examples of each are identified, and learners are given the opportunity to reflect on how these examples are associated with health concerns in older adults.

By Julie Sommer

This learning object will assist the student to develop an understanding of immune diseases and disgnostics.

By Marise Hussey

Learners match diseases with their portals of entry, causative agents, and associated vectors.

You may also like

By Adam Blazek, Jared Huss

Learners are introduced to the Skyhawk's heating and cooling system. The activity includes audio content and a three-question quiz..

By Mary Riebe

In this interactive object, learners review respiratory system terminology and then match the terms with their definitions in a drag-and-drop exercise.

By Ann Jadin

Learners examine the anatomical parts of the lungs.

By Ann Jadin

In this animated and interactive object, learners identify the parts of the cardiovascular system and examine blood flow.

By Wendy Dusek

In this animated and interactive object, learners examine how blood flows through the heart and lungs. A brief quiz completes the activity.

Test Your Understanding

  1. What are the four most common lung diseases?
  2. What is the most common symptom of a respiratory symptom disorder?
  3. What is the main difference between bronchitis and emphysema? What is the relationship of these two diseases to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?
  4. Critical Thinking: What can people do throughout life to decrease the probability that they will have a respiratory system disorder?

Related Primary Literature

  • P. J. Barnes, Targeting cytokines to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Nat. Rev. Immunol., 18(7):454–466, 2018 DOI:
  • E. M. DeBoer, D. R. Spielberg, and A. S. Brody, Clinical potential for imaging in patients with asthma and other lung disorders, J. Allergy Clin. Immunol., 139(1):21–28, 2017 DOI:
  • A. Faisal et al., Common mechanisms of dyspnea in chronic interstitial and obstructive lung disorders, Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med., 193(3):299–309, 2016 DOI:

Additional Reading

  • M. A. Grippi et al. (eds.), Fishman's Pulmonary Diseases and Disorders, 5th ed., McGraw-Hill Education, 2015
  • M. G. Levitzky, Pulmonary Physiology, 9th ed., McGraw-Hill Education, 2018

To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.

Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.

The Respiratory System in Animals

The respiratory system begins at the nose and ends at the distal alveoli. It is comprised of the upper and lower airways. The upper airway includes the nose, sinuses, and pharynx. The nose provides olfaction and temperature regulation in hyperthermic patients. The nasal turbinates initially humidify and warm air, and filter particulate matter. The lower airways include the trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli. The primary function of the respiratory system is to deliver oxygen to the lungs to be exchanged with carbon dioxide.

Gas exchange occurs in the alveoli, which are comprised of one-cell-layer-thick membranes in which oxygen moves into the capillary and where carbon dioxide moves into the alveoli from the blood in the capillary. Failure or major dysfunction of gas transfer due to disease leads to respiratory distress or failure. Additional functions of the respiratory system include maintaining acid-base balance, acting as a blood reservoir, filtering and probably destroying emboli, metabolizing some bioactive substances (eg, serotonin, prostaglandins, corticosteroids, and leukotrienes), and activating some substances (eg, angiotensin).

Large, inhaled airborne particles enter the nose and are deposited along the mucous lining of the nasal passages. Cilia move these particles along the mucosal barrier to the pharynx to be swallowed or expectorated. Small particles may not be filtered on inhalation and may be deposited in the alveoli, where they are phagocytized by macrophages. Defense against invasion by microorganisms and other foreign particles is provided by this mucociliary "blanket" and by cellular and humoral immunity. These factors determine species and individual susceptibility to disease and may be manipulated through various management techniques, vaccines, antimicrobials, and other agents, such as interferons and lymphokines. Mechanical factors include the tortuosity of nasal passages presence of hairs, cilia, and mucus the cough reflex and bronchoconstriction. Cellular defenses include neutrophils and macrophages. The latter phagocytize invaders and present them (or at least their important antigens) to lymphocytes for stimulation of an immune response. Secretory defenses include interferon for antiviral defense, complement for lysis of invaders, surfactant lining the alveoli to prevent their collapse and to facilitate macrophage function, fibronectin to modulate bacterial attachment, antibodies, and mucus.

The anatomy of the respiratory tract differs markedly among species in the following features:

Watch the video: Embryology. Development of the Respiratory System (August 2022).