Right pulmonary artery

The right pulmonary artery (RPA) is one of the branches of the pulmonary trunk, branching at the level of the transthoracic plane of Ludwig. It is longer than the left pulmonary artery and courses perpendicularly away from the pulmonary trunk and left pulmonary artery, between the superior vena cava and the right main bronchus. As it courses to the right it has an 
almost horizontal path inferior to the aortic arch and carina, anterior to the esophagus and right main bronchus, before dividing just prior to entering the superior aspect of the hilum of the right lung into upper and lower trunks:

  • the upper lobar artery (truncus anterior) supplies the RUL and courses 
medial to the right main bronchus; it is smaller than the descending interlobar artery
  • the descending interlobar artery supplies the RML and RLL and courses lateral to the right main bronchus

Anatomy: Thoracic
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Article information

rID: 49441
System: Vascular, Chest
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • RPA

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: pulmonary arteries
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