Table 1

Anatomy of the female respiratory system compared with males

AirwaysLungChest wall
PharynxVolumeRib cage
 Cross-sectional areaTotal alveolar number Cross-sectional area
Alveolar surface area Antero–posterior diameter
Alveolar number per unit area Lateral diameter
LarynxAlveolar number per unit volume Thoracic index#
 Glottis cross-sectional areaShape↓ pyramidal Perimeter
 Absolute dimension Volume (absolute)
 Thyroid cartilage angle Volume (% chest wall volume)
Trachea Ribs inclination
 Cross-sectional area (absolute)  Ribs movement pump-handle
 Cross-sectional area (standardised for lung size) Diaphragm
 Total length
 Length in the zone of apposition
  Dome-shape factor on lateral projection
 Dome-shape factor on antero–posterior projection
 Height of the dome

↑: increased compared with men; ↓: decreased compared with men; ≈ : no change between sexes. #: antero–posterior diameter/lateral diameter.