Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 1087
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
at the margins. Two or more of the cartilages often unite, partially or completely, and they are sometimes bifurcated at their extremities. They are highly elastic, but may become calcified in advanced life. In the right bronchus the cartilages vary in number from six to eight; in the left, from nine to twelve. They are shorter and narrower than those of the trachea, but have the same shape and arrangement. The peculiar tracheal cartilages are the first and the last (Fig. 961).
  The first cartilage is broader than the rest, and often divided at one end; it is connected by the cricotracheal ligament with the lower border of the cricoid cartilage, with which, or with the succeeding cartilage, it is sometimes blended.
  The last cartilage is thick and broad in the middle, in consequence of its lower border being prolonged into a triangular hook-shaped process, which curves downward and backward between the two bronchi. It ends on each side in an imperfect ring, which encloses the commencement of the bronchus. The cartilage above the last is somewhat broader than the others at its center.

The Fibrous Membrane.—The cartilages are enclosed in an elastic fibrous membrane, which consists of two layers; one, the thicker, passing over the outer surface of the ring, the other over the inner surface: at the upper and lower margins of the cartilages the two layers blend together to form a single membrane, which connects the rings one with another. They are thus invested by the membrane. In the space behind, between the ends of the rings, the membrane forms a single layer.
  The muscular tissue consists of two layers of non-striated muscle, longitudinal and transverse. The longitudinal fibers are external, and consist of a few scattered bundles. The transverse fibers (Trachealis muscle) are internal, and form a thin layer which extends transversely between the ends of the cartilages.

Mucous Membrane.—The mucous membrane is continuous above with that of the larynx, and below with that of the bronchi. It consists of areolar and lymphoid tissue, and presents a well-marked basement membrane, supporting a stratified epithelium, the surface layer of which is columnar and ciliated, while the deeper layers are composed of oval or rounded cells. Beneath the basement membrane there is a distinct layer of longitudinal elastic fibers with a small amount of intervening areolar tissue. The submucous layer is composed of a loose mesh-work of connective tissue, containing large bloodvessels, nerves, and mucous glands; the ducts of the latter pierce the overlying layers and open on the surface (Fig. 964).

FIG. 964– Transverse section of trachea. (See enlarged image)

Vessels and Nerves.—The trachea is supplied with blood by the inferior thyroid arteries. The veins end in the thyroid venous plexus. The nerves are derived from the vagus and the recurrent nerves, and from the sympathetic; they are distributed to the Trachealis muscles and between the epithelial cells.
1c. The Pleuræ
  Each lung is invested by an exceedingly delicate serous membrane, the pleura, which is arranged in the form of a closed invaginated sac. A portion of the serous membrane covers the surface of the lung and dips into the fissures between its lobes; it is called the pulmonary pleura. The rest of the membrane lines the inner surface of the chest wall, covers the diaphragm, and is reflected over the structures occupying the middle of the thorax; this portion is termed the parietal pleura. The two layers are continuous with one another around and below the root of the lung;


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