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Tracheal Wall Composition and Structure – Anatomy of the Tracheal Tube or Windpipe

View of the lungs and expanded view of the tracheal wall and esophagus
View of the lungs and expanded view of the tracheal wall and esophagus
View of the lungs and expanded view of the tracheal wall and esophagus
An expanded view of the trachea and esophagus. Swipe to switch between views.
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  • The wall of the trachea is made up of four distinct tissue layers.

A zoom-in of tracheal wall showing 4 layers

  • Along the luminal surface, the trachea is lined by image descriptionrespiratory mucosa (or mucous membrane). Goblet cells in the pseudo-stratified ciliated columnar epithelium produce mucus, which warms, moistens, and removes foreign particles from the air as it flows through the trachea..
A zoom-in of tracheal wall showing 4 layers
Tracheal Wall highlighting the mucosa
trachea
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  • Deep to the mucosa is the image descriptionsubmucosa. Like the lamina propria, the submucosa is primarily composed of loose (= areolar) connective tissue. Many blood vessels, neurons, and image descriptionglands are also present.
A zoom-in of tracheal wall showing 4 layers
Tracheal Wall highlighting the submucosa
Tracheal Wall highlighting the glands
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  • The (seromucous) glands image descriptionsecrete a combination of water and mucus to the luminal surface of the trachea through narrow ducts. The mucus adds to that secreted by the goblet cells.
  • External to the submucosa is a cartilaginous layer containing c-shaped .
A zoom-in of tracheal wall showing 4 layers
Tracheal Wall highlighting the cartilage ring
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  • The open end of the rings are attached by the image descriptiontrachealis muscle. While coughing, these smooth muscle fibers contract. This narrows the tracheal lumen and increases the velocity of airflow, which helps dislodge mucus and foreign particles.
A zoom-in of tracheal wall showing 4 layers
Tracheal Wall highlighting the cartilage rings
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  • The outer layer of the trachea, the image descriptionadventitia, is a band of loose connective tissue that loosely bind the trachea to the esophagus and other nearby organs.
A zoom-in of tracheal wall showing 4 layers
Tracheal Wall highlighting the adventitia
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  • A image descriptionphoto micrograph shows a more realistic depiction of the layers and structures that make up the tracheal wall.
A micrograph view of the tracheal wall
A micrograph view of the tracheal wall with labels
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An Overview of the Tracheal Wall Composition and Structure:

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