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Superior bronchopulmonary segment (left inferior lobe)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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The apical bronchopulmonary segment of the inferior lobe of the left lung is supplied by the apical segmental bronchus, a branch of the left inferior lobe bronchus. The apical segmental bronchus is the most superior bronchus of the posterior aspect of the bronchial tree; hence, this segment is particularly prone to aspiration of fluid when a patient lies supine.

The apical segment has a surface which presents posteriorly, medially and laterally around the left lung. It forms a significant percentage of the total lung area when examining the posterosuperior aspect of the thorax.

Anteriorly is the oblique fissure which separates the apical segment from the posterior and anterior bronchopulmonary segments of the superior lobe. Medially, the apical segment forms the area posterolateral to the hilum of the lung on the mediastinal surface.

Superiorly, particularly on the medial aspect, sits the apical segment of the superior lobe. Inferiorly, the apical segment sits atop all four basal segments of the inferior lobe. Alternatively, in a large percentage of the population the apical lobe sits superior to a distinct subapical lobe; this mirrors the right side.

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