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Application of an idealized model to morphometry of the mammalian tracheobronchial tree


Quantitative anatomical descriptions (morphometry) of the tracheobronchial airways are of importance in many applications including the preparation of successful mathematical models describing airflow patterns and deposition patterns of airborne particles in the lung. Morphometric data are also useful in studies of comparative anatomy and in describing normal and diseased states of an organ. The collection of such data is aided by the use of idealized models of airway branches of the tracheobronchial airways. Morphometric measurements from the lungs of several mammalian species are presented using a model that consists of three connected tubular segments. The morphometric model uniquely defines an identification number for each branch segment, a branching angle, an airway segment length and diameter, an inclination of a segment to gravity and the degree of alveolarization of each segment. Designed to be compatible with computerized data handling, the model is unambiguous and realistic, but flexible so that anomalous anatomical structures can be classified and noted. Morphometric data describing the variation of structure with depth in the tracheobronchial airways are presented in the form of graphical representations of anatomical measurements on replica casts of the human, dog, rat and hamster airways. These distributions describe the anatomical character of the tracheobronchial airways concisely, quantitatively, and characteristically for each species. Copyright © 1978 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

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