right upper lobe

The right upper lobe (RUL) is one of three lobes in the right lung.  It is separated from the right lower lobe by the oblique fissure and the middle lobe by the horizontal fissure and subdivided into three bronchopulmonary segments.

    Gross anatomy

    Location and structure

    The RUL lies in the upper aspect of the right hemithorax and contains three bronchopulmonary segments:

    Like all the pulmonary lobes, it is lined by visceral pleura which reflects at the pulmonary hilum where it is continuous with the parietal pleura. The right upper lobe bronchus arises from the superolateral wall of the right main bronchus to traverse the right hilum into the RUL.

    The RUL is separated from the RLL inferiorly and posteriorly by the oblique fissure and from the middle lobe inferiorly and anteriorly by the horizontal fissure.

    The lateral part of the posterior segment of the right upper lobe is called axillary subsegment.

    Blood supply

    Arterial supply

    Like all the lobes of the lung, the RUL has dual arterial supply:

    Venous drainage

    Venous drainage of newly oxygenated blood is via the right superior pulmonary vein into the left atrium.

    Right bronchial veins drain into the azygos vein.

    Lymphatic drainage

    The superficial subpleural lymphatic plexus drains the lung parenchyma and visceral pleura to the bronchopulmonary (hilar) lymph nodes in the hilum.

    The deep bronchopulmonary lymphatic plexus (in the bronchial submucosa and peribronchial interstitium) drains the root of the lung to hilar lymph nodes in the hilum.

    The hilar lymph nodes then drain to the tracheobronchial lymph nodes.


    • parasympathetic fibers from the vagus nerve (CN X)
    • sympathetic fibers from the paravertebral sympathetic trunks

    Variant anatomy

    Related pathology

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