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Words for Disorders of the Trachea, Bronchi & Pleural Cavity

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  • 0:01 Fluid in the Body
  • 0:50 Trachea and Bronchi
  • 2:01 Fluid in the Pleural Cavity
  • 3:44 Other Pleural Caviy Disorders
  • 4:54 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson is going to go over many terms related to conditions affecting the pleural cavity, as well as a couple related to the trachea and bronchi: tracheorrhagia, bronchorrhea, pleural effusions of all kinds, pleurodynia, pleurisy, and much more.

Fluid in the Body

Have you ever thought about the interesting fact that there is a lot of fluid in your body? And I don't mean the whole 'our body is mainly water' thing. I mean, we have a ton of blood in our blood vessels. We have fluid in our eyes. Fluid in our head, called cerebrospinal fluid. There's fluid in the bladder, urine. Fluid in the stomach, stomach acid. Fluid in the gallbladder, bile. You get the picture.

But some places should have almost no fluid at all. One of these places is the pleural cavity (pleural space), the cavity between the lungs and the chest wall. This lesson will discuss fluid terminology related to the trachea, bronchi, and pleural cavity, as well as other disorders of the pleural cavity not related to fluid accumulation per se.

Trachea and Bronchi

Without further delay, I'd like to introduce blood and mucus, two obviously fluid substances. Hemorrhage from the mucous membranes of the trachea is called tracheorrhagia. The word hemorrhage is just a fancy term for bleeding, usually profuse bleeding.

Tracheo- refers to the trachea, the windpipe. Hem/o- refers to blood. And -rrhage or -rrhagia means there is some sort of abnormal or excessive discharge or flow of something. Remember the latter two suffixes by picturing someone in a 'rrhage.' Their emotions flow out profusely.

Another suffix for the profuse flow or discharge of something is -rrhea, as in bronchorrhea, the excessive secretion of mucus from the bronchi, which are the smaller airways branching off of the trachea. Bronch/o represent bronchus, the singular of bronchi. Remember that -rrhea is a profuse outflow of something by thinking of the commonly heard of term of diarrhea, where there is clearly a pretty profuse outflow of something out the backdoor.

Fluid in the Pleural Cavity

Okay, moving on to the pleural cavity. Here, this space normally has a very small amount of fluid, which prevents the lungs from rubbing themselves raw on the chest wall as they expand and move within it.

However, there are conditions when there is an abnormal accumulation of a fluid that should not be within the pleural cavity. Such conditions are called pleural effusions. Again, a pleural effusion is the abnormal accumulation of a fluid in the pleural space, where effusion refers to the escape of a fluid from blood vessels or lymphatic vessels into tissues or cavities. Pleural effusions include hydrothorax, hemothorax, chylothorax, and pyothorax.

  • An abnormal accumulation of serous fluid in the pleural cavity is called hydrothorax. Thorax refers to the chest, by the way.
  • Blood in the pleural space is known as hemothorax. Hemothorax shouldn't be confused with hemoptysis, the coughing up of blood or bloody sputum from the lungs or bronchial tubes, where -ptysis refers to spitting.
  • Chyle in the pleural space is called a chylothorax
  • Pus in the pleural cavity is pyothorax, where py/o- refers to pus. Commonly, pyothorax is also called empyema, but this term can technically refer to the collection of pus in any body cavity, not just the pleural cavity. So, technically, it should be viewed as empyema of the pleural cavity, not just empyema.

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