The lungs are a pair of cone‐shaped bodies that occupy the thorax. The mediastinum, the cavity containing the heart, separates the two lungs. The left and right lungs are divided by fissures into two and three lobes, respectively. Each lobe of the lung is further divided into bronchopulmonary segments (each with a tertiary bronchus), which are further divided into lobules (each with a terminal bronchiole). Blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and nerves penetrate each lobe.

Each lung has the following superficial features:
  • The apex and base identify the top and bottom of the lung, respectively.

  • The costal surface of each lung borders the ribs (front and back).

  • On the medial (mediastinal) surface, where each lung faces the other lung, the bronchi, blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels enter the lung at the hilus.

The pleura is a double‐layered membrane consisting of an inner pulmonary (visceral) pleura, which surrounds each lung, and an outer parietal pleura, which lines the thoracic cavity. The narrow space between the two membranes, the pleural cavity, is filled with pleural fluid, a lubricant secreted by the pleura.