Medicine & USMLE

Respiratory Overview

  1. Respiratory Overview
  2. Airway Anatomy
  3. Alveoli
  4. Breathing Mechanics
  5. Gas Exchange in Tissues
  6. Nervous Control of Breathing
  7. Respiratory Defense Systems
  • Respiratory System Overview 
    • Network of organs and tissues that help you breathe
      • Consists of airway, lungs, and blood vessels
    • Roles
      • Gas Exchange
        • Occurs at interface of lungs (alveoli) and capillaries
        • Blood is oxygenated and sent out to body
        • CO2 waste from body is exhaled 
      • Trapping particulate matter
        • Airway structure traps potentially harmful particulate matter and ushers it out
        • Epithelial cells produce mucus secretions and other antimicrobial secretions to inhibit infection
      • Thermoregulation
        • Breathing rate regulates body temperature by modulating expiration of hot air
        • Respiratory rate increases in response to increased temperature (panting) 
      • pH Regulation 
        • Respiratory rate regulates pH of blood by adjusting pCO2 of blood 
          • Shifts carbonic anhydrase equation