Difference Between Right and Left Lung

Main Difference – Right vs Left Lung

Lungs are the organs that form the respiratory system of the animals. Right and left lungs are located on either side of the heart near the backbone. They facilitate the exchange of respiratory gases between blood and the external environment. Right lung is wider and shorter whereas left lung is narrower and longer. Right lung consists of three lobes whereas left lung consists of two lobes. The main difference between right lung and left lung is that the anterior border of the left lung consists of a deep cardiac notch whereas right lung is straight.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Right Lung
      – Definition, Location, Structure
2. What is Left Lung
      – Definition, Location, Structure
3. What are the Similarities Between Right and Left Lung
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Right and Left Lung
      – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms: Bronchi, Heart, Larynx, Left Lung, Liver, Pharynx, Respiration, Right Lung, Trachea

Difference Between Right and Left Lung - Comparison Summary

What is Right Lung

Right lung is the lung on the right side of the respiratory system. It has three lobes; superior, middle, and inferior lobes. The air enters the nose and moves via the pharynx and larynx to enter the trachea. The trachea is divided into two bronchi; one bronchus supplies air to the right lung while the other supplies the left lung. Inside the lungs, each bronchus is subdivided into smaller bronchi. The smallest bronchi in the lungs are bronchioles. The right and left lungs are shown in figure 1.

Difference Between Right and Left Lung

Figure 1: Right and Left Lungs

The right lung is shorter than the left lung. This provides space for the liver, which is underneath the right lung.

What is Left Lung

Left lung is the lung on the left side of the respiratory system. It has two lobes: superior and the inferior lobe. In the middle, the oblique fissure can be identified, extending from costal to the both above and below the mediastinal surface of the lung. Though left lung lacks a middle lobe, the lingula of the left lung is anatomically similar to the middle lobe. 

Main Difference - Right vs Left Lung

Figure 2: Cross-sectional Detail of the Lung

Left lung provides spaces for the heart. It contains a deep cardiac notch at the anterior border. Therefore, the left lung is narrower than the right lung. On the other hand, the left lung is longer than the right lung since it does not need to provide space for another organ.

Similarities Between Right and Left Lung

  • Both right and left lung are components of the respiratory system of animals.
  • Both right and left lung facilitate the respiratory gas exchange between blood and the external environment.
  • Both right and left lung are made up of millions of alveoli.

Difference Between Right and Left Lung

Definition

Right Lung: Right lung is the lung on the right side of the respiratory system.

Left Lung: Left lung is the lung on the left side of the respiratory system.

Lobes

Right Lung: Right lung consists of three lobes.

Left Lung: Left lung consists of two lobes.

Bronchi

Right Lung: Right lung consists of two bronchi.

Left Lung: Left lung consists of a single bronchus.

Heavier/Lighter

Right Lung: Right lung is heavier.

Left Lung: Left lung is lighter.

Shape

Right Lung: Right lung is shorter and wider.

Left Lung: Left lung is longer and narrower.

Nearest Organs

Right Lung: Right lung provides space for the liver.

Left Lung: Left lung provides space for the heart.

Conclusion

Right lung and left lung are the two components of the respiratory system of animals. Both lungs facilitate the gas exchange between blood and the external air. Right lung is shorter and wider than the left lung. Right lung provides spaces for the liver at the bottom while left lung provides space for the heart from its anterior. The main difference between right and left lung is the structure of each lung in the body.

Reference:

1. “Lungs.” InnerBody, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “2312 Gross Anatomy of the Lungs” By OpenStax College – Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site, Jun 19, 2013 (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Lung structure normal” By National Heart Lung and Blood Institute – National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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