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Respiratory Terms (expand to view) 
  • adenovirus - A Class I virus containing a single double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), which can cause infections in the upper respiratory tract in many animals. (More? Abnormal Development - Viral Infection)
  • alveolar duct - Anatomical short region lying between the end of the respiratory bronchioles and the final alveolar sacs. Term is also used in the mammary gland, to describe the smallest of the intralobular ducts into which the secretory alveoli open.
  • alveolar sac - alveolus, Latin alveolus = little cavity) Anatomical and functional end of the mammalian lung respiratory tree where gas exchange occurs. In humans, during lung development these are the last features to form from 7 months onwards.
  • alveolar - Term used in relation to the alveoli of the lungs. The final functional sac of the respiratory tree where gas exchange occurs between the alveolar space and the pulmonary capillaries.
  • alveolar stage - Term used to describe lung development, the final histological/developmental stage (Pseudoglandular, Fetal Canalicular, Terminal sac, Alveolar). This stage occurs from late fetal/neonate with alveoli formation, the final functional sac of the respiratory tree exists, where gas exchange occurs between the alveolar space and the pulmonary capillaries. (Lung stages: embryonic stage - pseudoglandular stage - canalicular stage - terminal sac stage - alveolar stage)
  • alveolus - (alveolar sacs, plural alveoli, Latin alveolus = little cavity) Anatomical and functional end of the mammalian lung respiratory tree where gas exchange occurs. In humans, during lung development these are the last features to form from 7 months onwards.
  • apgar - Non-invasive clinical test designed by Dr Virginia Apgar (1953) carried out immediately on newborn. The name is also an acronym for: Activity (Muscle Tone), Pulse, Grimace (Reflex Irritability), Appearance (Skin Color), Respiration. A score is given for each sign at one minute and five minutes after the birth. (More? Apgar test)
  • apnea - Respiratory term meaning the cessation of breathing.
  • assisted ventilation - Clinical term referring to newborn (perinatal) respiration assistance required immediately following delivery, the infant given minimal breaths for any duration with bag and mask or bag and endotracheal tube within the first several minutes from birth. Excludes free flow oxygen only and laryngoscopy for aspiration of meconium.
  • Bochdalek hernia - The most common form (80-85%) of the Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) types occurring mainly on the postero-lateral (left) side of the respiratory diaphragm. (More? Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia)
  • bronchi - (Latin, bronchos = windpipe) Plural of bronchus, the two subdivisions of the trachea carrying air to the lungs. Embryologically form as an endodermal outpocket of the foregut which branch (bronchiole, subdivision of the bronchus) as they grow.
  • bronchiole - A smaller branch subdivision of the respiratory tract bronchus.
  • bronchopulmonary dysplasia - Clinical term for a heterogeneous lung disease seen in preterm (premature) infants and diagnosed within the first months of life. Condition was first described in 1967. (More? Preterm Birth)
  • canalicular stage - (fetal canalicular, canalicular phase) Term used to describe lung development, after early embryonic the second of the histological/developmental stages (pseudoglandular, fetal canalicular, terminal sac, alveolar). This stage occurs during the fetal period from week 16 to 24. During this stage there is lung bud mesenchymal angiogenesis and cellular differentiation into different stromal cell types (fibroblasts, myoblasts and chondrocytes). (Lung stages: embryonic stage - pseudoglandular stage - canalicular stage - terminal sac stage - alveolar stage)
  • carbon monoxide - (CO) A colourless and odorless gas formed mainly as a by-product of incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons and can cause cytotoxicity by tissue hypoxia. Carbon monoxide enters circulation though the respiratory system, binding to haemoglobin to form carboxy-haemoglobin (COHb), with fetal haemoglobin binding with a greater affinity.
  • CDH - Acronym for Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, a musculoskeletal abnormality of the respiratory diaphragm. The most common form being the B#Bochdalek herniaBochdalek hernia.
  • chronic lung disease - (CLD) Clinical term, a neonatal chronic lung disease can be caused by prolonged mechanical ventilation (MV) and oxygen-rich gas with premature infants.
  • Clara cells - Respiratory tract epithelial cells on the luminal surface of airways. These cells have a dome shaped cytoplasmic protrusion and no cilia and their function is secretory and xenobiotic. Clara cells can act as progenitor cell in small airways replacing injured terminally differentiated epithelial cells.
  • Clara cell secretory protein - (CCSP) A protective lung protein secreted from non-ciliated bronchiolar epithelial cells in the conducting airways of mammals. The protein increases in expression level post-natally and is thought to have antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and anticarcinogenic properties.
  • corticosteroid - An endocrine steroidal hormone produced by the adrenal cortex. Clinically, corticosteroids are also used for lung maturation of the premature neonate.
  • diaphragm - A general term for a membranous sheet, used to describe the respiratory diaphragm. The muscular sheet separating chest from abdomen with several different embryonic origins. Regular contraction of the diaphragm is required in respiration. The diaphragm forms initially at the lower end of the pleuroperitoneal canal. (Embryonic origins: transverse septum (septum transversum) - tendon of the diaphragm, 3rd to 5th somite pairs - musculature of diaphragm, ventral pleural sac - connective tissue, mesentry of oesophagus - connective tissue around oesophasus and inferior vena cava, and pleuroperitoneal membranes - connective tissue around central tendon)
  • endoderm - (Greek, endo = inside + derma = skin) One of the initial 3 germ cell layers (ectoderm, mesoderm, endoderm) formed by the process of gastrulation. The endoderm forms the epithelial lining glands and of the respiratory tract.
  • epaxial muscle - Anatomical term describing skeletal muscles which lie dorsal (posterior) to the vertebral column developing from the somite myotome. At the ribcage level the levatores costarum muscles involved with rib elevation during respiration.
  • epiglottis - (Greek, epi = above, upon) cartilaginous part of the larynx above the glottis, which in infancy directs food into the esophagus and not the trachea . Embryologically it develops in the foregut from the hypobranchial eminence, behind the undeveloped tongue, from which it separates at about 7 weeks. Postnatal anatomical development in humans involves a maturational descent in infancy (4 and 6 months of age). Contains lymphoid tissue (larynx-associated lymphoid tissue, LALT and Bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue, BALT).
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation - (ECMO) an invasive therapy that has been investigated and utilized in newborn infants with cardiorespiratory failure.
  • fetal breathing movements - (FBM) Occur in the third trimester preparing both the skeletomuscular system and lungs mechanically for respiration.
  • fistula - An abnormal communication between 2 structures (organs, vessels, cavities) that do not normally connect, can occur between the trachea and oesophagus.
  • foregut - The first of the three part/division (foregut - midgut - hindgut) of the early forming gastrointestinal tract. The foregut runs from the buccopharyngeal membrane to the midgut and forms all the tract (esophagus and stomach) from the oral cavity to beneath the stomach. In addition, a ventral bifurcation of the foregut will also form the respiratory tract epithelium.
  • glottis - (Greek, = larynx) the boundary between pharynx to the larynx and consists of the vocal folds and their associated intervening space.
  • HIF-1 - A transcription factor that is one of the main regulators of homeostasis in human tissues exposed to hypoxia, due to inflammation and/or insufficient circulation.
  • laryngeal cleft - (LC, laryngeal-tracheo-oesophageal cleft) A rare foregut abnormality allowing digestive tract and the airway to communicate causing chronic cough, aspiration and respiratory distress. The downward extension of the cleft determines the classification of the abnormality.
  • laryngeal webs - (congenital laryngeal webs) Laryngeal abnormality due to embryonic (week 10) incomplete recanalization of the laryngotracheal tube. Rare abnormality occuring mainly at the level of the vocal folds (glottis).
  • laryngotracheal groove - Early embryonic foregut developmental feature, forms on the anterior (ventral) wall of the pharynx and gives rise to larynx, trachea and entire respiratory tree. In humans, this feature is the first indication of respiratory development and appears during week 4.
  • larynx - Site of the the vocal folds in the neck. Embryologically develops from the foregut with the lining derived from endoderm and the cartilage from pharyngeal arch 4 and 6. Beginning as a simple foregut groove, the laryngotracheal groove which folds to form the laryngotracheal bud, then the larynx and trachea.

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