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Difference Between Right and Left Lung

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Introduction to Lungs

The work of the respiratory system of the body is to extract oxygen from the atmosphere and transfer it to the bloodstream. It also collects carbon dioxide from the body and releases it into the atmosphere. Lungs are a critical part of the respiratory system and are located in the thoracic cavity of the chest. They are conical in shape and are divided by lobes and fissure.

Overview of Lungs

The two lungs are known as the left lung and the right lung. The primary function of the lungs is to breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide but there is a difference between the right and left lungs based on several factors. The experts at Vedantu have summarised these lung differences between right and left in an easy to understand format.

Left Lung

The left lung is located on the left of the heart and has a concave impression to accommodate the heart. This impression is known as the cardiac notch and it makes the left lung smaller than the right one. An important difference between the right lung and the left lung is the size.

Right Lung

The right lung is located on the right side of the respiratory system and is shorter than the left lung. It is to accommodate the diaphragm, which rises higher towards the right side over the liver.


Left Lung

Right Lung


It is located on the left side of the respiratory system.

It is located on the right side.


The diaphragm separates the base of the lung from the stomach and the spleen.

The diaphragm separates the base of the lung from the liver.


It is narrow and long.

It is wider and 5 cms shorter than the left lung. 


There is only one bronchus.

There are two bronchi in the right lung.


It has two lobes, a superior lobe, and an inferior lobe.

There are three lobes in the right lung; superior lobe, middle lobe, and inferior lobe.

Number of bronchopulmonary segments

The lobes are further divided into the bronchopulmonary segments. The left lung has 9-10 segments.  

It has 10 segments.


The left lung is lighter than the right lung. The approx weight of the left lung is 650 gm.

The right lung is heavier. The approx weight of the right lung is 700 gm.

Shares space with 

The left lung shares space with the heart.

The right lung shares its space with the liver.

Number of fissures

It has one fissure. This fissure is oblique.

It has two fissures, one oblique and one horizontal. The oblique fissure separates the inferior lobe from the middle and superior lobes. The horizontal fissure separates the superior from the middle lobe.

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FAQs on Difference Between Right and Left Lung

1. Where do lungs get their blood supply from?

The lungs' primary function is gas exchange, which necessitates the use of blood from the pulmonary circulation. This blood supply carries deoxygenated blood to the lungs, where erythrocytes, or red blood cells, pick up oxygen and transfer it to tissues throughout the body. The pulmonary artery is a branch of the pulmonary trunk that leads to the alveoli, carrying deoxygenated arterial blood. As it travels the bronchi, the pulmonary artery forks many times, with each branch becoming smaller in diameter. One lung lobule is supplied and drained by a single arteriole and its associated venule. The pulmonary arteries become the pulmonary capillary network when they approach the alveoli.

The capillary network of the lungs is made up of small capillaries with very thin walls and no smooth muscle fibres. The capillaries branch out and follow the bronchioles and alveolar structure. The capillary wall meets the alveolar wall at this point, forming the respiratory membrane. After becoming oxygenated, blood drains from the alveoli through the several pulmonary veins, which exit the lungs through the hilum.

2. Give a brief overview of the lungs?

The lungs are the most important organs of the respiratory system, and they are in charge of gas exchange. The lungs get divided into lobes and are paired; the left lung has two lobes, while the right lung consists of three lobes. As blood transports oxygen from the lungs to various tissues throughout the body, blood circulation is critical. The pulmonary circulation's job is to help in gas exchange. The pulmonary artery delivers deoxygenated blood to the capillaries that connect the alveoli to form respiratory membranes, while the pulmonary veins return newly oxygenated blood to the heart for distribution throughout the body.

The parasympathetic and sympathetic neural systems innervate the lungs, coordinating bronchodilation and bronchoconstriction of the airways. The pleura, a membrane made up of visceral and parietal pleural layers, surrounds the lungs. Pleural fluid is produced by the mesothelial cells of the pleural membrane and functions as a lubricant (to reduce friction when breathing) and an adhesive (to keep the lungs attached to the thoracic wall) (to facilitate movement of the lungs during ventilation).

3. What are the side effects of tobacco and second-hand smoking on the lungs?

Numerous scientific investigations have shown that second-hand smoke, which is a mixture of sidestream smoke and mainline smoke inhaled by the smoker, causes sickness. There are at least 40 compounds in sidestream smoke that have been discovered as having a deleterious impact on human health, such as immune system dysfunction, liver damage, cardiac arrhythmias, pulmonary edema, and neurological dysfunction. Furthermore, it has been discovered that second-hand smoke contains at least 250 chemicals that are hazardous, carcinogenic or both. Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), N-nitrosamines, aromatic amines, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde are some of the most common carcinogens found in second-hand smoke.

Tobacco and second-hand smoke are both known to cause cancer. Individuals who do not use tobacco can develop lung cancer as a result of second-hand smoke exposure. Nonsmokers who live with someone who smokes in the house have a 30 percent higher risk of lung cancer than nonsmokers who are not consistently exposed to second-hand smoke. second-hand smoke has a particularly negative impact on children.

Children who live with a smoker in the house have a greater rate of lower respiratory infections, which are linked to hospitalizations, as well as a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In addition, second-hand smoking in the house has been related to an increase in the number of ear infections in children, as well as the exacerbation of asthma symptoms.

4. Describe the Pleura of the lungs?

The pleura surrounds each lung, which is encased within a hollow. A serous membrane that covers the lung is known as the pleura (pleural = pleurae). The mediastinum separates the right and left pleurae, which contain the right and left lungs, respectively. There are two levels to the pleurae. The visceral pleura is the layer that extends into and lines the lung fissures and is superficial to the lungs.

The parietal pleura, on the other hand, is the outer layer that joins the thoracic wall, mediastinum, and diaphragm. The hilum is the point where the visceral and parietal pleurae meet. The gap between the visceral and parietal layers is known as the pleural cavity.

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