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Postmortem examination of the lungs: a preservation technique for opening the bronchi and pulmonary arteries individually without transection problems.
  1. T A McCulloch,
  2. G N Rutty
  1. Department of Histopathology, Nottingham City Hospital, UK.


    The classic methods of examining both the pulmonary arteries and bronchi postmortem partly destroy the anatomy of one of these systems. A technique is described whereby the bronchi and pulmonary arteries are dissected and preserved. The principal difference of this technique is that most of the upper lobe vasculature is opened from the hilum. The exception to this is the lingula, which because it is the embryological homologue of the right middle lobe should be treated in the same way--that is, with the vessels opened from the pleural side and the bronchi from the hilum. One general practical point is that there is a great variation in the number of pulmonary arterial branches in each lobe, particularly in the upper lobes, and especially in the left upper lobe. Furthermore, there is some variation in the local anatomic relations of the vessels and bronchi and on occasion the technique will not work as described and will require some modification. However, most of the time this technique should allow the pathologist to preserve the anatomy of the bronchial tree and pulmonary arteries for better demonstration and photographic purposes when the need arises.

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