Bronchial Venous Plexus and Its Communication with Pulmonary Circulation

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This study was undertaken to clarify the microvascular anatomy of the normal human bronchial circulation, focusing on the bronchial venous system and its communication with the pulmonary circulation. Ten normal lungs obtained at autopsy were studied. Bronchial arteriography was performed in six lungs, pulmonary arteriography in two lungs, and pulmonary venography in another two. Using radiologic methods, including microradiography, and serial histologic sections, we found numerous bronchial venous plexuses around the airways and blood vessels into which the bronchial capillaries drained. Frequent communications of the venous plexuses with the pulmonary veins and neighboring alveolar capillaries were also demonstrated. The bronchial venous plexus and its close connection with the pulmonary circulation may be important in various pathologic conditions involving the interstitial space, such as interstitial pulmonary edema.

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