Respiratory tract

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 21 Jul 2021

The respiratory tract refers to the portion of the respiratory system that conducts air into and out of the body. It is conventionally divided into upper and lower tracts.

The upper respiratory tract (URT), also known as the upper airways, is the collective term for the components of the respiratory system proximal to the trachea:

Some texts include the paranasal sinuses in the upper respiratory tract as they are in direct communication with the nasal cavity, lined by a thin layer of respiratory epithelium and play a role in humidification of the inspired air and phonation.

The lower respiratory tract (LRT), also known as the lower airways, is the collective term for the components of the respiratory system distal to the larynx:

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.