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Inferior Lobe Lung

The inferior lobe is a section of the human lung. Each lung is divided into lobes; the right lung consists of the superior, middle, and inferior lobes, while the left lung consists of only the superior and inferior lobes. Note that both lungs contain an inferior lobe, and it is roughly a similar size to the superior lobe within each lung. An oblique fissure divides the superior and inferior lobes of the lung; in the right lung a horizontal fissure also separates the middle lobe. The oblique fissure is commonly found to follow the line of the sixth rib; however, variability has been noted. It is possible, though not common, to separate the inferior lobe from the rest of the lung and transplant it into another patient whose lungs do not or cannot function. This is a proposed alternative to entire-lung transplants from cadavers. It is a particularly strong alternative as a donor need not be deceased to donate the inferior lobe. This is known as lobar lung transplantation. Two donors donate one inferior lobe to the patient to replace the patient's lungs. However, this is not yet a common procedure.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Inferior Lobe Lung

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