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Airway Anatomy

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Air route; Breathing passage; Respiratory tract; Ventilation passage


The passageway by which air enters and exits the lungs through the nares or oropharynx.

The airway is a continuous passageway but can be further categorized into the upper and lower airway. The upper airway begins from the nares and oropharynx to the vocal cords (Fig. 1a and b). The lower airway is located below the level of the vocal cords and extends distally.

Airway Anatomy, Fig. 1
figure 114

(a) Sagittal view of the upper airway anatomy. (b) Anatomy of the larynx and vocal cords as seen through laryngoscopy

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Airway Anatomy, Fig. 1
Airway Anatomy, Fig. 2


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Ruth Fabiano and Scott Brzezinski for photography

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Correspondence to Sarah Fabiano .

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Fabiano, S., Lema, P.C. (2015). Airway Anatomy. In: Papadakos, P.J., Gestring, M.L. (eds) Encyclopedia of Trauma Care. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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