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Each of the tertiary bronchi serves a specific bronchopulmonary segment. These segments each have their own artery. Thus, each bronchopulmonary segment is supplied by a segmental bronchus, and two arteries, a pulmonary artery and a bronchial artery which run together through the center of the segment. Veins and lymphatics drain along the edges.
There are 10 bronchopulmonary segments in the right lung (3 in superior lobe, 2 in middle lobe, 5 in inferior lobe) and 10 segments on the left lung. Some of the segments may fuse in the left lung to form usually 8-9 segments (4-5 in upper lobe, 4-5 in lower lobe). Each segment is separated from the others by a layer of connective tissue.
This means that each bronchopulmonary segment is a discrete anatomical and functional unit, and this separation means that a bronchopulmonary segment can be surgically removed without affecting the function of the other segments.
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