Right main bronchus

The trachea bifurcates into the right and left main bronchi at the level of the carina, supplying air to the right and left lungs respectively. Each main or primary bronchus enters the hilum of its lung and gives rise to secondary lobar bronchi, which further divide into tertiary segmental bronchi supplying the bronchopulmonary segment.

Gross anatomy

The right main bronchus is wider, shorter and courses more vertically when compared to the left main bronchus 1,2. It is approximately 2.5 cm long and reaches the root of the right lung at the level of T5, lying inferolateral and posterior to the right pulmonary artery.1

It gives rise to three lobar bronchi, initially bifurcating into right upper lobe bronchus and bronchus intermedius.1 Bronchus intermedius further divides into right middle lobe and lower lobe bronchi.1


At right pulmonary hilum:

  • superiorly: arch of azygos vein
  • inferiorly: right pulmonary veins
  • anteriorly: right pulmonary artery (pulmonary veins anterior to pulmonary arteries)
  • posteriorly: oesophagus (azygos vein posterior to oesophagus)
Blood supply

Right main bronchus is supplied by one single right bronchial artery.2 It arises from one of the following origins:

Variant anatomy

Thoracic anatomy
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Article Information

rID: 45645
System: Chest
Section: Anatomy
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • RMB

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