A polyurethane-foam enlarged reconstruction was made from serial sections of a portion of young adult human lung parenchyman. Study of the progeny of a terminal bronchiole disclosed three generations of respiratory bronchioles and an irregular branching pattern of eight generations of alveolar ducts. Sacs and alveoli arose from the lateral and distal aspects of all generations of ducts. There were an average of 3.5 alveoli per sac. Considering the terminal bronchiole as the first generation branch of the acinus, over 60 per cent of the alveoli counted and predicted were members of the 10–12th generations. The acinus contained one terminal bronchiole and approximately 14 respiratory bronchioles, 1,200–1,500 ducts, 2,500–4,500 sacs, and 14,000–20,000 alveoli.
- Copyright © 1975 the American Physiological Society