Normal bronchiolus

Normal bronchiolus

This is a schematic drawing of a small airway with the main tissue components: epithelium, smooth muscle, and some inflammatory cells. The airway is surrounded by alveoli, which are attached to the basement membrane. Blood vessels are also present in the sub-epithelial layer, but are not shown.

The ability to breathe in

a patient with a respiratory illness such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can be reduced by a number of pathophysiological changes in the airways. These include inflammation, constriction, allergic response, mucus hypersecretion and alveolar damage. These topics are discussed in the following sections.

1

The total diameter of all bronchioles is much greater than the diameter of central airways. 

2

The bronchiolar resistance is greatly increased in obstructive lung disease.