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Artery: Pulmonary artery
Anterior (frontal) view of the opened heart. White arrows indicate normal blood flow. (Pulmonary artery labeled at upper right.)
Latin truncus pulmonalis, arteria pulmonalis
Gray's subject #141 543
From right ventricle
Vein {{{Vein}}}
MeSH A07.231.114.715
Dorlands/Elsevier t_20/12826098

The pulmonary artery carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs. It is one of the only arteries (other than the umbilical arteries in the fetus) that carry deoxygenated blood.


In the human heart, the pulmonary trunk ('pulmonary artery or main pulmonary artery) begins at the base of the right ventricle. It is short and wide—approximately Template:Convert/cmTemplate:Convert/test/A in length and Template:Convert/cmTemplate:Convert/test/A in diameter. It then branches into two pulmonary arteries (left and right), which deliver deoxygenated blood to the corresponding lung. [citation needed]


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The pulmonary artery carries deoxygenated blood from the right ventricle to the lungs. The blood here passes through capillaries adjacent to alveoli and becomes oxygenated as part of the process of respiration. [citation needed]

In contrast to the pulmonary arteries, the bronchial arteries supply nutrition to the lungs themselves. [citation needed]

Pulmonary artery pressure

The pulmonary artery pressure is a measure of the blood pressure found in the pulmonary artery. This is measured by inserting a catheter into the pulmonary artery.[1] :190-191 The mean pressure is typically 9 - 18 mmHg.,[2] and the wedge pressure measured in the left atrium may be 6-12mmHg. The wedge pressure may be elevated in left heart failure [1]:190-191 and other conditions, such as sickle cell disease.[3]

Clinical significance

The pulmonary artery is relevant in a number of clinical states. Pulmonary hypertension is used to describe an increase in the pressure of the pulmonary artery, and may be defined as a mean pulmonary artery pressure of greater than 25mmHg.[1]:720 This may occur as a result of heart problems such as heart failure, lung or airway disease such as COPD or scleroderma, or thromboembolic disease such as pulmonary embolism or emboli seen in sickle cell anaemia.[1]:720-721

Pulmonary embolism refers to an emboli that lodges in the pulmonary circulation. This may arise from a deep venous thrombosis, especially after a period of immobility. A pulmonary embolus is a common cause of death in patients with cancer and stroke.[1]:720-721 A large pulmonary embolus affecting the pulmonary trunk is called a saddle embolus. [citation needed]

Additional images

See also

  • Chronic obstructive lung disease
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Thromboembolic disease
  • Pulmonary circulation
  • Rasmussen's aneurysm

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 (2010) Davidson's principles and practice of medicine., 21st ed., Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.
  2. Edwards Lifesciences LLC > Normal Hemodynamic Parameters – Adult 2009
  3. Pashankar FD, Carbonella J, Bazzy-Asaad A, Friedman A (April 2008). Prevalence and risk factors of elevated pulmonary artery pressures in children with sickle cell disease. Pediatrics 121 (4): 777–82.

Template:Arteries of chest

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