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Do the lungs go into the costodiaphragmatic recess?


Official Answer Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Aug 28, 2021.

The lungs can expand into the costodiaphragmatic recesses. During forced or deep inspiration - inhaling air into the lungs - the costodiaphragmatic recesses allow for further expansion of the lungs. The lungs can extend up to two intercostal spaces (the space between the ribs) into the costodiaphragmatic recess during forced inspiration.

During quiet inspiration the costodiaphragmatic recesses extend approximately 5 cm below the base of the lungs. The costodiaphragmatic recesses are composed of two layers of outer (parietal) pleura that are usually only separated by serous fluid rather than the lungs.

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