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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 362781, 10 pages
Research Article

Quantitative Anatomy of the Growing Lungs in the Human Fetus

1Department of Normal Anatomy, Collegium Medicum of Nicolaus Copernicus University, Łukasiewicza 1 Street, 85-821 Bydgoszcz, Poland
2Department of Medical Biology, Collegium Medicum of Nicolaus Copernicus University, Karlowicza 24 Street, 85-092 Bydgoszcz, Poland

Received 18 February 2015; Revised 7 April 2015; Accepted 20 April 2015

Academic Editor: Gulsum Ozyigit

Copyright © 2015 Michał Szpinda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Using anatomical, digital, and statistical methods we examined the three-dimensional growth of the lungs in 67 human fetuses aged 16–25 weeks. The lung dimensions revealed no sex differences. The transverse and sagittal diameters and the base circumference were greater in the right lungs while the lengths of anterior and posterior margins and the lung height were greater in the left lungs. The best-fit curves for all the lung parameters were natural logarithmic models. The transverse-to-sagittal diameter ratio remained stable and averaged and for the right and left lungs, respectively. For the right and left lungs, the transverse diameter-to-height ratio significantly increased from to and from to , respectively. The sagittal diameter-to-height ratio significantly increased from to in the right lung, and from to in the left lung. In the fetal lungs, their proportionate increase in transverse and sagittal diameters considerably accelerates with relation to the lung height. The lung dimensions in the fetus are relevant in the evaluation of the normative pulmonary growth and the diagnosis of pulmonary hypoplasia.