Surface Anatomy of Pleura and Lung

Surface Anatomy of Pleura

1. Starts about 2 cm above the midpoint of medial 1/3 of clavicle.

2. Meet in the midline at rib 2.

3. Left side reaches sternal line at rib 4 (to make room for heart).

4. Right side reaches sternal line at rib 6.

5. Both cross rib 8 in midclavicular line.

6. Both cross rib 10 in mid-axillary line.

7. Both cross mid-scapular line (posteriorly) in rib 12.

lung and pleura surface markings
“This image is taken from Page 17 of Surgery of the lung and pleura” by Medical Heritage Library, Inc. is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Surface Anatomy of Lungs

1. Apex, Anterior border and Posterior border of lungs: Correspond to the lines of pleura but are slightly away from median plane

2. Inferior margin:

Below rib 6, the lungs extend to two rib spaces less than pleura (i.e. opposite to rib 6 mid-clavicular line, rib 8 mid-axillary line and rib 10 posteriorly). The parietal pleura extends a further two rib spaces inferiorly than the inferior lung edge to allow space for lung expansion.

LevelParietal pleuraLungs
Midclavicular line8th rib6th rib
Midaxillary line10th rib8th rib
Midscapular line12th rib10th rib

3. Oblique fissure: T3 to 6th costal cartilage

4. Transverse fissure (right lung only): Right 4th costal cartilage (sternal edge) to Oblique fissure

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